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House Fails to Pass Education Savings and School Excellence Permanence Act

For Immediate Release. September 9, 2002Just days into the new school year, children across America were already being “left behind” when the House of Representatives failed to pass on September 4, 2002, the Education Savings and School Excellence Permanence Act of 2002 (H.R.5203). 

For those investing in education savings accounts, the measure would have made permanent education tax relief enacted last year as part of the $1.35 trillion tax relief package signed into law by President Bush.  The legislation would have increased the annual contribution of education savings accounts from $500 to $2,000, expanding for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade those savings accounts benefits to cover expenses at public, private and religious schools. Also, for employer-provided higher education assistance, it would have extended the tax-free status.  

Opponents of the measure cited mounting budget deficits as a reason to defeat the legislation.  Yet the House continues to wastefully spend hard working American taxpayer dollars for a pay raise for the fourth straight year, increasing their salaries about $5,000 as well as for pork barrel spending projects, all in the name of fighting terrorism.  Americans worried about their job security and the stock market volatility continue to tighten their budgets as Washington inflates its pocketbook. 

Since the federal government became involved in education, the academic performance of America’s school children has continually declined.  For example, on national reading tests almost 40 percent of America’s fourth graders read below the basic level.   Compared with students in 18 other countries, the nation’s twelfth graders rank last on international tests in advanced physics.  Before taking regular courses, one-third of all incoming college freshmen have to enroll in a remedial reading, writing, or mathematics class.  And nationally for low-income inner city fourth-graders, 58 percent cannot read at the basic level. 

“Clearly, Washington’s educational record is nothing to write home about,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.  “It is time for the politicians in Washington to stop following the status-quo and stop fighting the American parents who know best the educational needs of their children.  Congress needs to empower parents with educational legislation that promotes school choice.  This is how the students of America can achieve world-class status and academic excellence.  Average Americans in these unstable economic times need educational tax relief so they can meet their children’s academic needs, for they are not fortunate enough to give themselves a $5,000 pay raise as their representatives did.” 

For Interviews Contact:

Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy

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