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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Email from Bobby Bright 20090924 (with my comments)

Dear Rob ,

Last week, I voted for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. The bill ends federal subsidies in private student lending, thereby saving taxpayers money, and invests those savings into schools and students. H.R. 3221 is estimated to save $87 billion over 10 years. (In otherwords you found a creative way to keep spending our tax dollars, adding more money to a system controlled by the Federal Government, that has done nothing but increase costs and reduce quality.)

I also supported an amendment to the bill which expressly prohibited any federal funds from going to ACORN. The savings created by the bill are invested into increased funding for Pell Grants, early childhood education, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, school construction, community colleges, and $10 billion towards needed deficit reduction.

The school construction section of the bill includes a provision that I had previously sponsored, which provides funds to schools affected by natural disasters. (It's not a Federal responsibility and it does not provide for the common good.)

As someone who came from humble beginnings, the education I received has proven invaluable and helped me get to where I am today. Every child should be afforded those same opportunities, regardless of their financial situation. (you are really humble now aren't you, being in the top 1% of income earners.) We have many excellent schools in the Second District that are able to open doors for our children. (Public education was fine until the Dept of Education was created. How about we abolish the Department of Education?) In fact, Brewbaker Tech in Montgomery and WS Harlan Elementary in Covington County were two of only five schools in Alabama to recently receive a national “Blue Ribbon School” award from the Department of Education.

Additionally, I have made education a top priority as your congressman and secured funding in House appropriations bills for important projects at schools in our around our district, including Auburn, Auburn-Montgomery, Troy, and George Wallace Community College. Specifically, the $87 billion in savings created by the bill will increase the maximum Pell Grant scholarship from $5,550 to $6,900. It also allocates $9.5 billion in funds to community colleges and technical schools. Additionally, the bill creates an $8 billion fund for early childhood education. The Early Learning Challenge Fund will award grants to states to implement comprehensive standards-based early childhood learning programs.Finally, H.R. 3221 allocates $6.6 billion for school modernization and renovation. Of that money, 5% is reserved for school districts recovering from natural disasters or located in economically challenged areas, such as Enterprise City Schools and schools around southeast Alabama suffering from recent flooding and winds. This language is the same as an amendment I offered earlier this Congress. That bill is currently stalled in the Senate.Small towns across America are simply not equipped to rebuild a mainstay in their communities such as schools when they are destroyed by natural disasters. I hope this bill will move forward in the Senate to give school districts in Southeast Alabama one more venue for making their systems whole again. I will do everything in my power to ensure that this legislation passes into law and has a positive effect on Alabama schools.The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act is truly a historic investment in education, from early childhood all the way through college. Equally important is the fact that this bill streamlines an inefficient program and uses the savings created to invest in some of our top priorities. This is indeed a wise use of taxpayer dollars. (Indeed just another excuse to spend more money.)

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my offices at the numbers below. It is my great pleasure to serve you and the entire Second District of Alabama.Sincerely,

Congressman Bobby Bright

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