House Passes Amendment to Continue Funding Small Educational Equity Act
Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives passed the Maloney/Woolsey/Sanchez amendment which will provide $3 million for 2005 to refund the Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA). If passed without this amendment, the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education (HR 5006) would have ended funding for WEEA. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) offered the amendment to ensure continued implementation of WEEA, which was established by Representative Patsy Mink in 1974 to promote educational equity and to provide funds to help education agencies and institutions meet the requirements of Title IX.
The 30 year old WEEA program is the only remaining program solely focused on the Department of Education’s important civil rights responsibility to advance gender equity. At $3 million, it is also one of the smallest programs in the Department, receiving even less receiving even less than the $8.45 million received by the Whaling Partnership Program, which primarily helps museums and others in Alaska, Hawaii and Massachussets share historic information on the whaling industry.
Dr. Sue Klein, the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Education Equity Director, said “Members of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education are relieved that the WEEA appropriations have been restored in the House, despite this Administration’s consistent annual budget requests to eliminate all WEEA funds. However, the Coalition is not pleased with how the Administration has allocated the funds.”
Previously over one-third of the appropriation was used to fund the WEEA Equity Resource Center which, among other important functions, published materials produced by WEEA, disseminated information on gender equity through its website and listserv, and even maintained a listing of state Title IX gender equity coordinators. Instead, the Department is using the funds previously used to provide much needed information on gender equity to support a study of single sex schools.
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