CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD URGES BUSH

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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

 

NEWS RELEASE March 29, 2001

EDUCATION PLAN NOT LEAVE BEHIND
CHILDREN OF THE INSULAR AREAS

In testimony before the House Committee on Education and Workforce on President George W. Bush's Education Initiative, H.R. 1, Congressman Robert A. Underwood called for the inclusion of the children of territories and a national policy statement on education for the insular areas.

"I would like to raise my concern that there should be attention in the legislation regarding the treatment of schools in the U.S. territories," the Congressman told the Committee. "If the goal is indeed to 'leave no child behind' in education, then Congress must work to ensure that no child in America should be left behind, whether they reside in the states or the territories.

"The territories are generally included in most national education programs, but mostly as afterthoughts," the Congressman continued, pointing out that educators in the territories are often left with a patchwork system in order to obtain needed and fair funding of federal program resources.

With struggling economies, high unemployment rates, diverse indigenous and immigrant cultures, and varied federal government relationships, territorial school systems deserve special consideration.

"H.R. 1 makes mention of special circumstances to address the needs of Migratory Children, American Indian and Alaska Native Children, Children of Military Families, Children with Limited English Proficiency, and Children who live in Rural Areas. However, there is no special section or policy statement that addresses the treatment of school children in the territories," Underwood said.

"A special category or policy statement would help to bring consistency of the treatment of territories. . . the definition of outlying areas is inconsistent in the application of the bill. There should be no reason that a definitive national policy for the territories be included in this plan or any plan that leaves Congress. The federal government has had a special obligation to schools in the territories," he added.

"We need to work in concert to level the playing field for all American children in the states and the territories. I look forward to working with you to ensure that no American child is left behind in our national education programs no matter where they live," he concluded.

For additional information, contact: Cathy Gault at 671-477-4272

Washington office: 2418 Rayburn Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: 202-225-1188 Fax: 202-226-0341 Email: guamtodc@mail.house.gov 

Guam office: 120 Fr. Duenas Ave., Ste 107 Hagatna, GU 96932 Tel: 671-477-4272 Fax: 671-477-2587 

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