President Frank Flynn
Magaziner Stands With Educators and Parents to Condemn Proposed Republican Cuts to Education
West Warwick, RI — Today, Representative Seth Magaziner (RI-02) stood with educators and parents to condemn House Republicans’ proposed cuts to education, including Head Start and school funding for teachers. As a former public school teacher and Rhode Island’s General Treasurer for eight years – where he spearheaded an initiative to rebuild school buildings across the state – Rep. Magaziner has long been an advocate for public education.
The House Republican FY2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill – and its 28 percent cut of $64 billion – will slash access to early childhood education, kick teachers out of classrooms, and deny opportunities for children and young adults in Rhode Island and across the country. In Rhode Island, these cuts will eliminate access to Head Start for 200 children and remove up to 800 teachers from classrooms serving low-income students.
These extreme cuts have been introduced amidst a national teacher shortage that has taken a toll on public school classrooms across Rhode Island, as well as the closure of over a quarter of Rhode Island’s Head Start classrooms due to lack of funding and staffing shortages. These closures have led to long waitlists and a lack of affordable child care for parents.
“Ensuring students have access to early childhood education and outstanding schools is critical to their success, but House Republicans’ proposed education cuts would rob future generations of this opportunity,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “At a time where Rhode Island – and our nation – is facing a teacher shortage, Head Start classroom closures, and learning loss from the pandemic, these are the exact wrong priorities. We must invest in education, not slash funding for it. I am committed to fighting back against these extreme Republican cuts in Congress so that we set every child up for success.”
“Head Start and Early Head Start are high-quality early learning programs that help prepare some of our state's youngest learners for success in school and life,” said Paige Clausius-Parks, Executive Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. “Head Start also supports families with wrap-around services and as a reliable child care option that allows parents to get to work. Head Start and Early Head Start are part of our state and nation's early education infrastructure, and Congress needs to fully fund these proven programs.”
“As a former Head Start parent and a Head Start employee of 28 years, the last two as program director, I've seen firsthand how Head Start improves the lives of the young children and families we serve,” said Michelle Wolstenholme, Chief Executive Officer and Head Start Director of CHILD, Inc. in Warwick. “Rhode Island families deserve access to Head Start and Early Head Start, and that is why it is unconscionable that Congress is considering cutting funding for these proven programs. I want to thank Representative Magaziner and the rest of the Rhode Island congressional delegation for fighting to restore funding so that we can continue to provide Head Start and Early Head Start to children and families who need these programs the most.”
“The federal Early Head Start program was a huge support for my family,” said Bernelle Richardson of West Warwick. “It helped to ensure that my children had a reliable, high-quality, free early learning experience during their earliest years of development. Head Start also supported me as I completed my nursing degree so that I could fulfill my career goals. Now I help other mothers as a Women's Care Nurse at Kent Hospital. It is critical that Congress restore full funding for Early Head Start and Head Start so more Rhode Island families, like mine, can benefit from these wonderful programs.”
“Since 1965, Title One funding has been instrumental in providing resources to school districts to help mitigate the impact of poverty on our children’s education,” said Frank Flynn, President of Rhode Island Federation of Teachers. “At a time when we desperately need to ramp-up services for our students due to learning loss, House Republicans’ proposed cuts to Title One would force districts to reduce the teacher workforce, denying students access to the support, resources, and programs that are essential to their success. The RIFTHP appreciates Rep. Magaziner’s advocacy for this important issue.”
“As Rhode Island and our nation face educator shortages, it’s critical that we support funding to recruit and retain teachers,” said Val Lawson, President of the National Education Association Rhode Island. “Slashing Title I funding will only harm the education and development of our children. I thank Rep. Magaziner for his efforts in Congress to protect students from harmful cuts so they can achieve their full potential.”
In addition to cutting federal funding for Title I and Head Start, the extreme House Republican 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill will:
• Eliminate services for English learners. The House Republican bill eliminates federal support for vital academic services for 16,100 English learners in Rhode Island through the elimination of English Language Acquisition (Title III).
• Eliminate Federal Work Study. The bill eliminates Federal Work Study for the 6,700 students who need it in Rhode Island to help finance a postsecondary education, limiting their potential earnings and future success in the job market.
• Eliminate need-based financial aid. The House Republican’s bill takes away need-based financial aid for 10,800 students in Rhode Island through the elimination of Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG).
• Eliminate youth employment opportunities. The bill eliminates WIOA Youth Job Training, which would deny job training and employment services for 400 youth in Rhode Island who face barriers to finding a good paying job.
• Eliminate adult employment opportunities. The bill eliminates WIOA Adult Job Training, which would deny job training and employment services for 1,000 adults in Rhode Island who face barriers to finding a good paying job.