Education is key to upward mobility for children living in poverty. Yet broad disparities in access to resources disadvantage young students in poorer communities and communities of color. These inequities contribute to unequal educational outcomes that have long-term consequences. Federal programs and funding can address these disparities and help ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn and develop to their full potential.
Legislation considered by Congress last year would have required states and school districts to measure access to critical educational resources so that disparities between certain student subgroups could be addressed. Congress also considered, but rejected, allowing states to use federal funding to support minorities, women, and low-income students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
S. 233—Requiring states to report the graduation rates of homeless and foster children: The adoption of this amendment mandated that states report the graduation rates of homeless and foster children. Better data reporting about these two groups will aid policy development that more effectively addresses their learning needs.
S. 240—Requiring states to measure disparities in access to educational resources: The adoption of this amendment would have required states to measure and address disparities in access to certain educational resources for certain children, including low-income children and children of color.
S. 241—Requiring strong education accountability measures: Adoption of this amendment would have ensured the implementation of strong accountability measures that require state and local agencies to set broad but ambitious achievement goals for every type of student, and intervene in schools and districts that fall short of those goals.
S. 246—Extending the full-service community schools grant: Adoption of this amendment would have further extended the full-service community schools grant program, which funds efforts to provide critical social and health services to low-income children, their families, and communities.
H. 413—Establishing a grant program to fund high school dropout prevention initiatives: Adoption of this amendment would have implemented a competitive grant program to fund state and local high school dropout prevention initiatives.