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McCain’s Economic Agenda Attacks Education Funding: Harmful to Children and Public Education


WASHINGTON - April 17, 2008 -

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently outlined his plans to address an ailing economy, and proposed a yearlong moratorium on increases in discretionary federal spending, including education. However, Sen. McCain did not address how his plans will negatively affect children and education.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Reg Weaver:

“McCain’s plans have erased any doubts that he would continue the misguided policies of the Bush administration. The spending scheme recently outlined would reportedly save $100 billion, but it doesn’t mention the critical casualties of those cuts: America’s children. 

The move would take away even more resources from public schools that are already underfunded. Under McCain’s scheme, 4.2 million disadvantaged children would be shortchanged in needed reading and math help due to the shortfall of $10.7 billion between the McCain plan for Title I and what was promised in the No Child Left Behind law.

“McCain’s scheme would also shortchange states and schools by $12.5 billion by reducing services to 3.6 million children with disabilities. Like President Bush, who proposed $14.2 billion less than what Congress provided for education during his presidency, McCain’s scheme has shown he is quite willing to mortgage our children’s future.

“And No Child Left Behind has imposed heavy-handed requirements based on standardized testing, but the law has been underfunded by $70.9 billion since its enactment. If there is one section of the federal budget, one segment of the economy, that deserves continued and full support, it’s public education. Public education is the backbone of a healthy economy and a healthy democracy, and McCain’s scheme ignores that at our shared peril.

All children deserve the right to great public schools to ensure that they become productive citizens who can compete in a global economy and succeed in the new industries of tomorrow. McCain cannot restore confidence in the future of our country by refusing to invest in our country's future leaders.”

For additional information about NEA, please visit: http://www.nea.org/ .

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Celeste Fernandez  (202) 822-7823