Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–March 20, 2007–The United States Hispanic Advocacy Association (USHAA), which provides advocacy, benefits and information on behalf of the more than 42 million Hispanic consumers, today announced strong support for the New Jersey Urban Schools Scholarship Act (A257 and S1332).
“Many urban students in New Jersey of Latino and African American ethnicity are trapped in failing schools and are consistently under perform suburban students irregardless of the indicators used to measure educational achievement,” said Luis J. Diaz, Esquire, president and CEO of USHAA.
New Jersey Urban Schools Scholarship Act is important because it provides eligible low-income children with scholarships that allow them to break away from failing urban schools. The Act also focuses much needed attention on the constitutional mandate that New Jersey’s School children are entitled to ‘thorough and efficient education.’ It further highlights the disparities created by New Jersey’s heavy reliance on local taxes to fund education.
The 1998 New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Abbott v. Burke has narrowed funding and performance gaps in some districts. However, the recently announced resources would need to continue for some time to reverse decades of neglect and inequity. Money alone also does not address accountability and other complex issues facing failing schools. With New Jersey now in the midst of a financial crisis, it is likely many school districts will again be forced to file lawsuits to get the funding promised to them by Abbott. While these legal and political battles continue, it is likely that yet another generation of mostly low-income Latino and African-American students will not receive the “thorough and efficient education” promised to them by our state constitution.
“Our children represent the future of the State of New Jersey and America itself. For America to continue to thrive in a global, knowledge-based economy, we can no longer afford to under-educate the growing population of minority children in urban schools,” added Diaz. “That is why USHAA supports legislation designed to provide immediate remedy to those children who deserve fairness but who are trapped in failing schools.”
As part of its continued efforts to support access to quality education for all children, USHAA is hosting the ‘USHAA Fortune 1000 Latino Affinity Group Summit: Educating Our Youth’ on March 28, 2007, at the IDT Conference Center (Ronald Reagan Room) located at 520 Broad Street, 17th Floor in Newark, NJ. The Summit will address various strategies for advancing the educational achievement of our youth. Registration is free but space is limited on a first come, first served basis. Registration is available via the Internet at: http://www.ushaa.com/Events_view.aspx?Eventid=5.
USHAA is a non-profit corporation with the mission of leveraging Hispanic purchasing power to provide effective advocacy, meaningful benefits and helpful information on behalf of its members. For more information about USHAA, please visit http://www.ushaa.com.