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PR Newswire (U.S.)

Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila (D-PR) Delivers Democratic Hispanic Radio Address


April 3, 2004
Copyright ©2004 PR Newswire Assoc. LLC (U.S.). All rights reserved.

WASHINGTON, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressman Anibal Acevedo Vila (D-PR) delivers the Democratic Hispanic Radio Address, Saturday, April 3, 2004.

Hispanic Radio Address
Congressman Anibal Acevedo Vila
Air Date: Saturday, April 3, 2004

"Good morning. I am Anibal Acevedo Vila, Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner in Congress.

"Last week, House Republicans approved a budget resolution that undermines America's most important priorities. This budget, which still has to be approved by the Senate, will have a devastating effect on the Latino community by cutting funding for several federal programs that are important to our Hispanic families.

"Despite the fact that more than 27 percent of Hispanic students drop out of high school, the Republican budget cuts funding for dropout prevention programs.

"The budget also undermines the Head Start program. There are 271,000 Hispanic children being served through Head Start, including thousands of children of migrant workers. But the President's budget cuts funding for the comprehensive educational, health, and nutrition services that children in this program currently receive, and desperately need.

"As if this were not enough, the budget House Republicans approved closes the door on college education. Despite nationwide increases in the cost of college, the Republican budget would freeze funding for Pell Grants and cut funding for Perkins loans by nearly $100 million.

"In contrast, the Democratic budget increases funding for education. This funding will support additional resources for special education and for the "No Child Left Behind" Act programs, including programs to improve teacher quality and reading programs. In addition, the Democratic budget provides $3.7 billion to fill the current shortfall in the Pell Grant program. The Democratic budget also provides funding to save college students money by lowering the cost of student loans.

"Education is the key to our children's dreams and we must never let them down. That is why my colleague Congressman George Miller, Senator Ted Kennedy and I were successful in pushing, along with the House and Senate Democratic leadership, an initiative that for the first time gave children in Puerto Rico the same benefits and treatment that children in the United States receive for the Title I program for education. This program strengthens educational opportunities for low-income communities. As a result, Puerto Rico will receive more than double the amount that it received before the change.

"Education is not only the key to our children's dream; it is also the pathway towards an improved society and a stronger economy. No Child Left Behind cannot be a mere campaign slogan. It has to be a sincere commitment that our generation has to fulfill. Democrats will keep fighting so that America's priorities are the priorities of our government, so that education is not an empty promise but a reality for this nation's children.

"I am Anibal Acevedo Vila, Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner in Congress. Thank you for listening."

Web site:

CONTACT: Federico de Jesus of the Office of House Democratic LeaderNancy Pelosi, +1-202-225-0100; or Carmen Enid Acevedo of the Office of Congressman Anibal Acevedo Vila, +1-787-723-6333

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