Hilda Solis

Budget Cuts and Education - Feb. 15, 2005

Hilda Solis
February 15, 2005— Washington, D.C.
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Mr. Speaker, today I rise in opposition to the President's budget proposal to turn his back on low-income and ethnic minority students, particularly Latino and African Americans, and in particular first-generation students who have never had a chance to go to college.

And I say that because in the President's budget proposal he wants to eliminate completely the GEAR UP Program, the Upward Bound Program, and the Talent Search Program. As a result, 1.3 million students, 70 percent who are minorities, will lose a chance to go to college.

California was awarded about 15 percent of the funding for the GEAR UP program. In fact, in my school district in East L.A., El Sereno Middle School and Belvedere Middle School are the recipients of the GEAR UP program, middle school meaning 7th and 8th grade students who are learning about the opportunities to go to college.

How dare the President turn his back on our youth, on those who want to succeed and go on to college. We need to ensure that this President has to keep the compassion that he says that he has for all people of color.

And I would ask my colleagues and urge them to reject these proposals that will put back our community by many, many decades. Let us restore funding in higher education for all of our students.