Education has been the most debated subject but nationwide efforts to address shortfalls in childhood literacy have failed. The Education Secretary eliminated several reading programs as she cut Congress-appropriated grants and slashed the budget by 12%. In our county, 2 out of 3 fourth graders read below the standard level. With the recent school shutdowns, many K12 students don’t have reliable broadband in their rural areas to benefit from distance learning.

We are thankful that our congressman, Josh Harder, went to work immediately and challenged the Education Secretary. He demanded that priority be given to disadvantaged students.

In a letter to her, he insisted that the department pay attention to the needs of students and fund resources for those are in rural areas and have limited internet access.

Josh is the first congressman in 20 years to consistently champion the cause of disadvantaged students. He is trying to instill in the Secretary’s mind that she has an obligation to help ensure that states, localities, and educators get the resources they need to include every student in their plans, especially during this pandemic. The best thing about his actions is that they help everyone in our district, regardless of party denomination!

Julian Bentayeb

Newman resident

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