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Letter to the House - Pass a Clean CR

October 04, 2013

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA) and the students they serve, we urge you to vote against any piecemeal approach to funding federal programs during the government shutdown and urge Congress to pass a clean Continuing Resolution (CR).  Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress. 

Educators know very well the importance of American Indian and Alaska Native Health and Education, Impact Aid and Head Start to millions of students across the country.  On the heels of devastating sequester cuts which closed windows of opportunity for more than 57,000 at-risk children who lost their Head Start slots, Washington’s budget battles have harmed even more of America’s most vulnerable families. Already, thousands of children have been affected by Head Start program closures due to a lack of funding from this crisis with thousands more children at risk of losing their seats in classrooms as the shutdown continues. 

Yet, the ceasing of Impact Aid and Head Start are not the only ways students are hurt by the continued government shutdown. A piecemeal approach to funding Impact Aid or Head Start fails to provide America's children with the same protection as a fully operational government through a clean CR. Children rely on many other vital programs and services such as the National School Lunch Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, special education programs, or Title I programs, among other programs which provide critical assistance to students who are most in need.  

The implication of students losing meals or vital classroom time, attention and instruction is unthinkable, not to mention the numerous other impacts a continued shutdown entails.  There are millions of children being affected every day this shutdown continues.  That is why we urge you to think of every single individual when making these funding decisions to ensure continued debates on Capitol Hill are not hurting everyday Americans and their families.  

We urge you to immediately pass a clean CR to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are no longer the victims of this current political stalemate and we can focus back on undoing the harmful effects of the sequester.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations