LULAC Warns That State and Local Funding Flexibility Act Will Further Disadvantage Minority and Low Income Youth

July 13, 2011

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, (202) 833-6130

WASHINGTON, DC (July 13, 2011) – Today, the House of Representatives will mark up The State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, as introduced, will relieve any incentive of schools to commit federal dollars to low-income and historically disadvantaged students, and Native students. The proposed legislation introduced by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) would allow school districts to use federal funding for other purposes.

In a letter to Members of Congress, Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director expressed concern that a persistent achievement gap exists between both high and low-performing schools. “With a national graduation rate of only 72% and an on-time graduation rate for Latino students hovering around 56%, Congress must target its efforts and polices toward strategies that are most likely to strengthen academic performance and graduation rates for all students.

“We all know that Federal education programs often have unintended consequences which is why every effort must be made to ensure that each tax payer dollar is spent effectively. At present, the data shows that an achievement gap continues to exist both between high and low-preforming schools. The SLFFA would allow schools to disregard the needs of those students and reallocate formula dollars intended for those children to other purposes. Schools are currently seeing record numbers of ELL students, and by giving up federal protections we assume that local entities will educate a highly scrutinized population. We know this is often not the case, and, as we saw with ARRA funding, giving states and localities control of those dollars in many cases resulted in money not being allocated for disadvantaged student populations.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating nearly 900 LULAC councils nationwide.

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