GOP Bill Cuts Funds For Low-Performing Schools, Quadruples Funding For Abstinence Education

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"GOP Bill Cuts Funds For Low-Performing Schools, Quadruples Funding For Abstinence Education"

House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee released their 2013 draft budget for the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education today. “A careful look was given to all programs and agencies in the bill, with the budget knife aimed at excess spending and underperforming programs, but also with the goal of making wise investments in programs that help the American people the most,” said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY).

However, included among those cuts are several that undermine investments in education, including eliminating the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program and School Improvement Grant program. But at the same time, House Republicans found the money to quadruple abstinence-only education:

The Obama administration’s signature K-12 initiative—the Race to the Top competition—would get axed under a spending proposal put forward by Republicans on the House panel that oversees K-12 spending.

Two other major Obama priorities—the School Improvement Grant program, which provides $533 million to help turnaround low-performing schools, and the nearly $150 million Investing in Innovation grant program—are also eliminated. [...]

Another winner? Abstinence education, which would get $20 million, a $15 million increase over last year’s funding.

Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) called the bill “the most partisan we’ve seen this year.”

As study after study has shown, abstinence-only education doesn’t actually work. In fact, teen pregnancies are highest in states with abstinence-only education programs. Meanwhile, New Hampshire, which has the lowest rate of teen pregnancy, requires comprehensive sex education. So the GOP managed to fund ineffective programs, at the same time that it cut programs aimed at turning around low-performing schools.

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