The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools hosted a briefing for U.S. House staffers on January 25, 2019, focused on their report, Confronting the Education Debt. The briefing highlighted the federal under-funding of schools in low-income communities of color, and how that under-funding impacts communities. The report documents that Congress has had the authorization, for over 40 years, to fully fund low-income schools through Title I and IDEA. They estimate that over the last dozen years alone, Congress has chosen to underfund these programs by $580 billion. (see the report, pages 4-5).
Virginia Organizing leader Tyran Green, from the Portsmouth Chapter, spoke at the briefing about her children’s experiences in the Portsmouth schools. Three of her children were identified as needing support in the classroom, but they did not receive it. Tyran’s excellent speech highlights the consequences of this underfunding for teachers and children, and the way it contributes to the suspension problem in cities like Portsmouth.