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April 22, 2005
NEA Files No Child Left Behind Lawsuit
Legal Action Seeks Funds Promised for Children, Schools
"Today we're standing up for children, whose parents are saying, 'No more' to costly federal regulations that drain money from classrooms and spend it on paperwork, bureaucracy and big testing companies."
NEA President Reg Weaver
After three disappointing years of urging the federal government to live up to its commitment to fund the No Child Left Behind Act, NEA said enough is enough and filed a lawsuit in federal court on April 20 to force the federal government to pay for its own rules and regulations. In the legal challenge, NEA, joined by the school districts of Pontiac, Michigan; and Laredo, Texas; and seven districts in Vermont, uses funding and research data to show that school districts have been forced to drop or dramatically reduce critical education reform efforts to pay for the law's costly and ever-growing requirements.
At the center of the suit is section 9527(a) of the law, which states: "Nothing in this Act shall . . . mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act." Since the law's enactment in 2002, the federal government has fallen $27 billion short of providing the funding it authorized to help schools comply with the law's regulations.
Among the growing expressions of support from key Members of Congress are those of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), George Miller (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee and one of the primary architects of the law, and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), a member of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee. To learn more, including hearing from some of the parents involved, go to http://www.nea.org/lawsuit/index.html
- Let President Bush, your Senators and Representative know you expect them to honor their promise to children and public schools. Sign NEA's petition today and help schools receive the funds they so desperately need to enable all children to succeed to the best of their God-given abilities.
- Share this e-mail with others who believe we must value our children, and urge them to sign the petition.
Social Security Privatization: All Eyes Focus on 4/26 Hearing
The Bush Administration, its allies in Congress and in the financial services industry are looking with a sense of desperation to a Senate Finance Committee hearing on April 26 to reinvigorate their flagging campaign to take money from Social Security and put it into private stock market accounts.
In an effort to counteract the renewed push, Americans United to Protect Social Security, a coalition of groups that includes NEA, will stage rallies and news conferences in more than 30 states the day of the Senate hearing. The National Day of Action to Protect Social Security [http://americansforsocialsecurity.com/april26] is an opportunity for you, your family, and friends to speak out.
Support for the President's proposal among Americans continues to dropping as more facts come to light, such as the projected 42 percent reduction in Social Security benefits for today's workers, the trillions of dollars in debt that will be passed on to our children to fund the costs of the private accounts, and the inherent risks involved in the stock market. Those risks were underscored last week, when stocks registered their biggest one-day drop since May 2003 and the market suffered three consecutive days of triple-digit losses.
On a positive note this week for supporters of fully repealing Social Security's Windfall Elimination Provision, Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced his Public Servant Retirement Protection Act, H.R. 1714. The bill would provide a partial fix of WEP. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate shortly.
- Stop the privatization of Social Security by joining the tens of thousands of people who have sent more than 53,000 petitions to the White House and Congress. We cannot afford to let up; the other side has nearly unlimited power and money, and isn't afraid to use them. Sign the petition today and ask your friends, colleagues and families to do the same.
- Tell your Senators and Representatives who have not yet done so to add their support to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 147/S. 619), which would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP.
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