Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: Black Caucus Seeks Alternative to GOP `Contract'

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: Black Caucus Seeks Alternative to GOP `Contract'

Article excerpt

Washington UPDATE: Black Caucus Seeks Alternative to GOP 'Contract'.

by Charles Dervarics

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are leading an effort to create a progressive alternative to the Republicans' Contract With America that emphasizes more investment in education, cities and job training programs.

Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), a CBC leader on education issues, is cosponsor of the Job Creation and Invest in America Act of 1995. Among other goals, it would spend $2.5 billion to hire new teachers and improve schools and $1 billion for new youth apprenticeship programs for 14- to 21-year-olds. These apprenticeship programs usually include high school and postsecondary education components.

The bill also would commit $4 billion to Head Start so the program could reach all eligible, at-risk young children. Another $4 billion is set aside for economic development in major cities, towns and neighborhoods.

Owens said the legislation offers a "positive alternative" to the Contract With America, which he said would penalize many low-income Americans, particularly those provisions that would restrict public assistance.

"We are now confronted with a Republican welfare reform plan that sells out our national commitment to training and providing jobs for millions of unemployed Americans who desperately want to work and attain some measure of economic security for themselves and their families," Owens added. …

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