03.31.15

Congresswoman Lee Says GOP Budget Means Less Education for California's Kids

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Lee held a press conference to discuss the disastrous implications of the GOP Budget on East Bay families. The budget makes severe cuts to Head Start programs as well as K-12 and higher education.

Congresswoman Lee was joined by Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Antwan Wilson, City of Oakland Head Start Division Manager Usana Hopkins and Peralta College Board of Trustees President Meredith Brown.

The  GOP Budget would kick more than 4,500 students out of California’s Head Start programs and will cut billions from K-12 programs, especially Title I programs that support low-income students and students of color. Additionally, the GOP Budget would reduce financial aid for more than 1 million California college students.

“This House Republican budget will push more families into poverty, reduce educational opportunities for our young people and make it harder for those struggling to get ahead – especially those who live in communities of color,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “It’s past time that Congress gets serious about ensuring our young people have access to a quality, accessible and affordable education. As a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, I will keep fighting to ensure that East Bay students and all young people have access to educational opportunities that will help them succeed.”

Superintendent Wilson said, "America's future is only as promising as our focus on educating our youth so they are prepared for college, career, and community success in an increasingly complex and competitive global environment. Commitments to early education, college readiness, career training, and supports that allow students to achieve at high levels should not be partisan issues, but rather, fundamental investments in a stronger, more prosperous, and more liveable country".

Instead of education cuts, Congresswoman Lee joined her colleagues in crafting and offering the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus Alternative Budgets that make strong investments in education, including the CPC budget which supported debt-free college. 

Congresswoman Lee is also a co-sponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (H.R. 1434) that would allow young people to refinance their student loans at lower rates. It is estimated that this measure will help more than 2.3 million Californians with an average savings of $2,000 on each loan.

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.