February 02, 2021

Duckworth, Durbin Join Van Hollen & Lee in Introducing Bicameral Bill to Fully Fund Title I, Special Education


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-NV) in reintroducing the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act, legislation to put Congress on a fiscally-responsible path to fully fund Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on a mandatory basis.

“Every child deserves the chance to succeed. When we invest in education and prioritize students across our nation—regardless of zip code—we’re really investing in their future and our country’s future,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to help reintroduce the PACT Act alongside Senator Durbin, Senator Van Hollen and Rep. Lee to give countless teachers, school districts and young people a fairer, more equitable shot at reaching their full potential.”

“Our nation’s children represent our future. Students of all backgrounds should have fair and equal access to a quality education, regardless of how much their family makes or where they live,” Durbin said. “I’m proud to reintroduce the PACT Act alongside Senator Duckworth, Senator Van Hollen, and Representative Lee in order to ensure schools in need are well-funded and students are supported.”

Title I, which gives assistance to America’s highest-need schools, is a critical tool to ensure that every child, no matter the zip code, has access to a quality education. However, it has been deeply underfunded, shortchanging our most vulnerable students living in poverty. According to the National Education Association, the Title I formula was underfunded in Fiscal Year 2019 by $29 billion.

The Keep Our PACT Act would create a 10-year mandatory glide path to fully fund both Title I and IDEA, ensuring that education is a priority in the federal budget. It is supported by over 30 education, civil rights and disability rights organizations nationwide, including the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, The School Superintendents Association (AASA), Journey for Justice Alliance, the NAACP and The Arc.

Along with Duckworth, Durbin and Van Hollen, this legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).