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Letter to the House on the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013

April 26, 2013

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the more than 3 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge you to VOTE NO on the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, (S. 853).  A piecemeal approach to ending sequester cuts is not acceptable to the thousands of students across the country who have been deeply affected by cuts to programs like Head Start, special education, and Title I funding to high poverty schools.  Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card on the 113th Congress. 

Educators across the country understand that cuts to the FAA have been damaging and have caused bothersome delays and pose a potential safety risk. But, those same educators also understand that sequestration slashed Department of Education funding by nearly $3 billion, moving us backward nine years to below the FY 2004 level even though our schools are now serving nearly 6 million more students. Educators in Department of Defense run schools face up to 14 furlough days, which would result in military dependents losing school days while many of their parents are fighting overseas. Critical programs have already been cut including Title I aid to high-poverty schools; IDEA funds for students with disabilities and HEAD Start, among many others. These cuts are hurting children and students right now.  Where is the bill to end their sequester cuts? 

It is time for legislation which rids our country of the damaging, irresponsible across the board cuts of the sequester and replaces them with sensible deficit reduction that pairs reasonable spending cuts with much needed revenue increases that eliminates wasteful corporate tax breaks and loopholes. The share of federal revenues coming from corporate taxes has shrunk by two-thirds in the last 50 years. Our inequitable tax code allows wealthy households to benefit disproportionately from deductions and other tax benefits—the top one percent of taxpayers receive nearly 25 percent of the benefit from these provisions. And as many as two out of three U.S. corporations paid zero in federal income taxes over much of the previous decade, according to the Government Accountability Office. 

Again, we urge you to VOTE NO on this piecemeal approach to ending sequester cuts and work toward a balanced approach to deficit reduction. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations