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Congresswoman Fudge Introduces the Core Opportunity Resources for Equity and Excellence (CORE) Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)today introduced the Core Opportunity Resources for Equity and Excellence (CORE) Act.  Senator Jack Reed (RI) also introduced a companion bill in the Senate today.  The CORE Act addresses persistent achievement gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students by requiring states and local school districts to provide core resources equitably. 

A report  published by a federal advisory commission to the U.S. Department of Education in 2013 illustrated the magnitude of achievement gaps, including:

  • Black, Latino, American Indian, native Alaskan students and English language learners attend schools with higher concentrations of inexperienced teachers;
  • One in five high schools nationwide lack a school counselor; and
  • Between 10 and 25 percent of high schools across the nation do not offer more than one of the core courses in the typical sequence for high school math and science, such as Algebra I and II, geometry, biology and chemistry.

“Equal opportunity is at the center of America’s promise and potential.  We cannot maintain a competitive edge in the world when we forsake this principle in our public education system.  All of our nation’s students must be assured fair and equitable access to quality resources for core learning, yet the evidence is clear—we have failed millions of students.  The CORE Act is one step forward in righting that wrong,” said Congresswoman Fudge.

“Senator Reed’s introduction of the Core Act in the Senate, which is identical to legislation I introduced in the House, seeks to address this shortcoming.  Senator Reed and I understand what is at stake for our country.  If we continue to settle for less than equitable allocation of resources in our education system, we shortchange our children and America’s future.”

“We need to set high standards for all our students and help them reach their full potential.  Every kid who comes through those school doors deserves fair and equitable access to the resources necessary for college and career readiness.  We don’t want economically disadvantaged students being unfairly steered off the college and career track,” said Senator Reed.  “This bill is about ensuring that all children have a quality education, with top-notch instruction and support and that our teachers have the resources and flexibility they need to help students excel.  Working together with states and school districts, we must address disparities and do right by future generations.”

The CORE Act identifies resources for learning such as effective school library programs; up-to-date instructional materials, technology and supplies; equitable and appropriate class sizes; and high quality instructional staff, including licensed and profession-ready teachers.  In addition to identifying resources, the CORE Act also requires states to create resource plans so that they then can be held accountable if the schools in their state do not have said resources.  States that fail to make progress in eliminating inequities for two or more consecutive years would not be eligible to participate in competitive grant programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“It has been more than 17 years since the Ohio Supreme Court found Ohio’s system of funding schools unconstitutional. Families in my state and in many other states have waited long enough for meaningful action to deliver on America’s promise of fair and equal opportunity for all students,” said Congresswoman Fudge.

“I applaud Representative Fudge for introducing the CORE Act, as it represents a genuine and innovative attempt to hold districts and states responsible for their roles in the success of our students,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.  "Underlying achievement gaps are resource gaps. The CORE Act measures the efforts of states and school districts to actually provide equitable access to the core resources needed for learning.  Instead of rushing to close neighborhood schools, the CORE Act would allow districts to support and improve schools.  Representative Fudge’s bill would move us past the current fixation on testing toward an accountability system that actually helps promote student learning and successful results.”

See the text of the bill here.  

Read more about the Core Act here.

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