Reps. Fattah, Honda Hail Launch of “Equity and Excellence”

02/17/11

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressmen Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Michael Honda (D-CA), the leading Congressional advocates for school funding equity, hailed the Department of Education’s appointment today of Commissioners who will launch and serve on the Equity and Excellence Commission.

The commission, first proposed and advanced by the two Congressmen in 2009, has been tasked with studying, and recommending solutions to, inequitable school finance systems and their effect on student achievement.

“This commission comes at a critical time in our fiscal history as a nation.  Now, more than ever, we are compelled to use scarce public resources efficiently and effectively,” said Fattah, an innovator and advocate for education reform who proposed the Commission concept at a meeting with the President on Feb. 26, 2009. “We know that there is no more prudent investment in the nation’s growth and prosperity than the education of our young people.”

Fattah, from Philadelphia, praised the work of Equity Commissioner Eric Hanushek, a Hoover Institution Fellow, who calculated that simply increasing the educational attainment of the nation’s lowest performing students would add $72 trillion to GDP, as well as a 2009 McKinsey report that found that the achievement gap has the economic effect of a permanent recession.

“The proof is there: Educational achievement will key our economic recovery,” Fattah said. “This is more than a question of fairness and equity, this is about the nation’s economic future.”

The Equity Commission is charged with collecting data, analyzing issues and obtaining broad public input on strategies for the federal government to increase educational opportunity by improving school funding equity. It will also make recommendations for restructuring school finance systems to achieve equity in resources and further student performance, especially for students at the lower end of the achievement gap.

For a list of the members of the commission announced today, and to read the entire press release, please visit Rep. Fattah’s website HERE.

Congressman Fattah will be a keynote speaker at the free California GEAR UP Community Conferences taking place on March 1 and March 8 throughout California. Register online now!