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NEA: New Ryan budget continues worst policies of the old Ryan budget

Political playbook from Romney-Ryan ticket is back in full force

WASHINGTON - March 12, 2013 -

Today, U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the budget for Fiscal Year 2014. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement on behalf of the National Education Association’s more than 3 million members.

“Chairman Ryan’s latest budget follows the same, devastating path created by his previous budget, and continues to make a mockery of shared sacrifice. His budget would inflict tremendous pain upon our most vulnerable citizens—children, low- and moderate-income Americans and seniors—while failing again to ask nothing more from the rich and big corporations. The Ryan budget will take the country in the wrong economic direction at the time when the nation is making steady progress.

“For starters, the Ryan budget keeps in place through 2021—then adds two more years—the harmful and short-sighted ‘sequester’ cuts to education programs and services on which the nation’s 50 million students rely. Students in high-poverty communities and students with disabilities will directly feel the brunt of these continued cuts—larger class sizes, less individualized attention and support in class, and fewer teachers and aides for students with special needs. But the budget won’t just slash investments in K-12; it also threatens to derail the American dream for students who rely on Pell Grants by preventing any increase over the next decade.

“Moreover, the Ryan plan would cut more than $750 billion from Medicaid and block grant the program, which provides health care coverage to one-third of all children. ‘Block grant’ is Washington speak for slashing and gutting programs. At the same time that governors of both parties are working to expand health care coverage for those most in need, the Ryan budget would stop that expansion, and repeal the entire health care reform law. The budget also block grants critical nutrition programs for the poor. In short, the budget attempts to undo the federal commitment to those who have the least, just to extend even deeper tax cuts to those who already have the most.

“If Chairman Ryan gets his way, he would replace Medicare with a voucher and make seniors fight the private insurance companies on their own. After a lifetime of hard work, our seniors deserve to expect that Medicare will continue to guarantee their health coverage.

“It’s wrong to balance budgets on the back of students and the most vulnerable without demanding corporations and the rich pay their fair share in taxes. Congress has a responsibility to come up with a balanced approach to get our nation’s fiscal house in order without inflicting irreversible harm to 50 million students—risking their future and the future of our nation.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Miguel A. Gonzalez, (202) 822-7823,