Luján Joins Legislation to Fully Fund Title I, Special Education for New Mexico Schools
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) joined Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-Nev.) to reintroduce the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act to put Congress on a path to fully fund Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on a mandatory basis.
“During this pandemic, it’s crucial that New Mexico schools have the resources needed to help our most vulnerable students succeed and reach graduation. Critical programs like Title I and IDEA help ensure that students living in low-income communities and those with special needs have access to a high-quality education,” said Luján. “Every student in New Mexico deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, and I’m proud to join this legislation to deliver on Congress’ promise to fully fund these important programs.”
Title I, which gives assistance to America’s highest-need schools, is a critical tool to ensure that every child, no matter the zip code, has access to high-quality public education. However, it has been deeply underfunded, shortchanging our most vulnerable students living in poverty. According to the National Education Association, the Title I formula was underfunded in Fiscal Year 2019 by $29 billion.
Similarly, IDEA calls on the federal government to fund 40 percent of the cost of special education, but Congress has never fully funded the law. According to the National Education Association, IDEA state grants are currently funded at just 13.8 percent – the lowest percentage since 2000.
The Keep Our PACT Act would create a 10-year mandatory glide path to fully fund both Title I and IDEA, ensuring that education is a priority in the federal budget. It is supported by over 30 education, civil rights, and disability rights organizations nationwide, including the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, The School Superintendents Association (AASA), Journey for Justice Alliance, the NAACP, and The Arc.
In addition to Senators Van Hollen and Luján, this legislation is supported by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).
Contact: Adán Serna, email@example.com