(June 2, 2017 – Washington, D.C.) The proposed federal budget includes $9.2 billion dollars in cuts to federal education programs. Programs and services scheduled for reduction include Title One, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, Title IV ESSA (which funds computer science literacy grants), Career and Technical Education, Special Olympics, TRIO and Upward Bound. Cutting effective programs may prove to be penny-wise and pound foolish. There is no assertion that these programs are outmoded, wasteful or ineffective.
Nothing works better than education to raise lifetime earnings, improve family stability, decrease income inequality, reduce crime and improve competitiveness. It is wiser to have high quality public education for all children, regardless of socio-economic status, geography or race. We should resist the temptation to think of education as a commodity reserved for the privileged among us. Students from all walks of life benefit from increased educational opportunity. Moreover, education is good for the nation - not just the individual - because it teaches more than job skills. Learning lights the path to citizenship. For example, black boys who attend college reduce the odds of incarceration from 30% to 5% (even if they don't graduate). In short, education pays for itself.
The National Council of Negro Women urges the House of Representatives to give careful thought before reducing the effectiveness of the nation’s educational effort. The National Council of Negro Women is a 3,000,000-member coalition of women’s groups that was organized 82 years ago by Mary McLeod Bethune, who was an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In its early decades NCNW fought for peace and against race discrimination. Today, NCNW works to lead, advocate and empower women of African descent and their families. The key to empowerment is education.