Chu Criticizes Senate Republicans for Saying "No" to Pell Grant Funding
"This decision doesn't just break the promise for greater funding we made earlier this year, it breaks a fundamental promise our government has to America's students"
WASHINGTON –Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., released the following statement regarding the absence of much-needed Pell Grant funding from the Appropriations Bill being considered by the Senate today. Earlier this year, the House passed an amendment that would close the current funding gap for the Pell Grant program and avoid cutting award levels give to our nation's students, but the Senate rejected it.
"I am deeply disappointed to learn that the Senate failed again to provide increased levels for Pell Grants in their version of the continuing resolution," Chu said. "Our difficult times force so many of today's students to forgo continuing their educations because of rising tuition and fees. This is a setback not just for each of these students, but for American competitiveness and the next generation of workers. This decision doesn't just break the promise for greater funding we made earlier this year, it breaks a fundamental promise our government has to America's students."
The funding gap is the result of the economic downturn. A greater number of students are attending college in order to acquire the skills needed to compete in a difficult economy. With growing numbers of students enrolling, and those students having greater financial need than in years past, demand for Pell grants has surged. Pell Grant applications are increasing by nearly twenty percent annually, compared to the roughly three percent annual increases seen in better economic times.
Representative Judy Chu was elected in July 2009 to the U.S. House of Representatives as the Representative of California's 32nd District, which includes East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. She is a member of the House Judiciary, Government Oversight, and Education and Labor Committees.
Congresswoman Chu's career in politics spans 24 years. A lifelong educator, Congresswoman Chu taught community college classes in Los Angeles and East Los Angeles for 20 years. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a B.A. in mathematics.