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CONGRESSMAN MAJOR OWENS DELIVERS WEEKLY CBC MESSAGE

BROOKLYN, NY -- November 10, 2005 -- Congressman Major Owens, this Saturday, will deliver the weekly message of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Please tune your radio's to WWRL-1600 in New York City to listen in.

AN EDUCATION MESSAGE TO AMERICA

THIS IS CONGRESSMAN MAJOR OWENS, CHAIRMAN OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS EDUCATION BRAINTRUST.  TODAY, I HAVE AN IMPORTANT EDUCATION MESSAGE FOR AMERICA.

IN A TIME OF UNUSUAL NATURAL DISASTERS AND FEARS OF TERRORISM IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE REMEMBER THAT FOR ALL OF THE PROBLEMS THAT WE FACE EDUCATION IS A KEY PART OF THE SOLUTION.

SCHOOLS ARE A BASIC PART OF WHAT MAKES OUR AMERICAN CIVILIZATION WORK.  IT IS A TRAGEDY THAT THREE MONTHS AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA THERE ARE STILL NO PUBLIC SCHOOLS OPEN IN NEW ORLEANS.  IN THE RECENTLY INTRODUCED CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS LEGISLATION, H.R. 4197-THE HURRICANE KATRINA RECOVERY, RECLAMATION, RESTORATION, RECONSTRUCTION AND REUNION ACT, EDUCATION IS CLEARLY ONE OF THE TOP PRIORITIES.  INDEED, MOST OF THE OTHER VITAL GOALS FOR REBUILDING AND RECONSTRUCTION CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT A PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM BEING FIRMLY REESTABLISHED. 

THE RIGHT OF KATRINA EVACUEES TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES AND TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE IN RESTORING THEIR LIVES, THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS IS AN EMPTY PROMISE IF PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE NOT REBUILT.  THE CBC LEGISLATION MANDATES FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FROM PRE-KINDERGARTEN AND HEADSTART THROUGH ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION TO THE REOPENING OF THE DEVASTATED HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES OF DILLARD, XAVIER AND SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY. 

THIS EMERGENCY FOCUS ON EDUCATION, AS ITS HIGHEST PRIORITY IS REFLECTIVE OF THE LONG-TERM POLICY OF THE CBC.  TEN YEARS AGO THE CAUCUS, SPEAKING FOR BLACK COMMUNITIES ALL OVER AMERICA DECLARED AN "EDUCATION STATE OF EMERGENCY".  THIS POSITION IS CLEARLY REFLECTED IN H.R. 2178, THE STUDENT BILL OF RIGHTS LEGISLATION.  BEYOND KATRINA, IN ALL OF OUR INNER CITY NEIGHBORHOODS, THERE IS A CRITICAL ABUNDANCE OF THE BRAINPOWER THAT AMERICA NEEDS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO MEET GLOBAL ECONOMIC COMPETITION.  TO DEVELOP THIS INVALUABLE RESOURCE FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO EDUCATION MUST BE INCREASED FROM ITS PRESENT EIGHT PERCENT TO AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT. 

ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING A FIRST RATE EDUCATION SYSTEM WILL ALLOW THE NATION TO DRAW ON ITS GREATEST SUPPLY OF UNTAPPED HUMAN RESOURCES:  THE CHILDREN OF THE INNER CITIES.  THE SAME MASSES THAT MAY BECOME WASTED, DYSFUNCTIONAL AND DANGEROUS COULD INSTEAD BECOME THE GUARANTORS OF AN AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE THAT WILL OUTLAST ALL OF THE COMPETING POWERS.

WITH EDUCATION POWER WE SHALL OVERCOME!

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