Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said that Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a substitute education bill with Sablan’s specific provision to increase funding for the Public School System.
By a vote of 221-207, the Republican-led House narrowly passed HR 5 or the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Sablan said no Democrats voted for the bill in contrast to past bipartisan reauthorizations of ESEA, pointing out that “inadequate funding for our schools is part of the reason.”
“The Republican measure locks in sequester-level funding through 2019. The bill also moves away from the equity and accountability standards established in No Child Left Behind, President George Bush’s signature education policy enacted in 2002,” Sablan said.
Sablan is an independent caucusing with the Democrats.
House Democrats offered a substitute to HR 5, “maintaining the civil rights and equity focus of the law,” Sablan said.
Sablan said he voted for the Democrat proposal in committee as it included Sablan’s provision that would double the amount of Title I-A funding allocated to the CNMI’s PSS and to the other insular areas.
Title I-A funds are meant to help students living in poor families receive a high quality K-12 education.
“Republicans voted down the Democratic substitute with the PSS funding increase,” Sablan added.
Marianas Campaign commemoration
In other news, Sablan, Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo and Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at a solemn ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the Marianas Campaign in World War II.
The annual commemoration of the Liberation of Guam and the Battle for the Northern Mariana Islands was held at Arlington National Cemetery last week.
The Guam Society of America also hosted a reception in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill to commemorate the Liberation of Guam and the Battle for the Northern Mariana Islands. Bordallo and Sablan served as honorary hosts of this event, which draws large crowds every year and showcases footage from the Battle of Guam and features a sample of the Chamorro culture and food.