Tuesday, March 30, 2010

OP-ED: Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) Proposes Bipartisan "School-Home" Amendment

Dear friends and distinguished colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that I have introduced an amendment to the Democrats' Big Funding Deal Act for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind that would deal directly with the severe problem of homeless students that the great State of Alaska faces. Unfortunately, our great state has one of the highest homeless populations in the nation, and many of those individuals are children already at high risk. These students need extra attention. They need an education, and they need a home.

That's why I proposed a bipartisan amendment with my distinguished Democratic colleague Patty Murray from the State of Washington. The opportunity to home-school children is a priority of mine and of the Republican caucus in general. But homeless children do not have homes. So instead of home-schooling, I proposed school-homing.

A school-home would allow homeless children to attend school in an environment in which they can be safe. A mix between a boarding school and a homeless shelter, a school-home is critical to alleviate the most severe problems facing the great State of Alaska's homeless population: a lack of a home, and a lack of education.

I urge my colleagues in the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to support this amendment in the mark-up hearings tomorrow night, and I urge my colleagues in the full Senate to keep this amendment to the Big Funding Deal as we move to floor debate. It is what is best for our children and what is best for our communities.

All my best,

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

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