Monday, February 2, 2015

Congresswoman Fudge appointed ranking member of education subcommittee, Black children get suspended and expelled at a rate 3 times higher than Whites, says a U.S Department of Education public schools report, and school related arrests occur disproportionately to Black kids

Ohio 11th Congressional District
Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com, and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper and newspaper blog. Tel: (216) 659-0473.  Coleman is a community activist, educator and 21-year investigative journalist who trained at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio for 17 years. ( / (

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)  has announced her committee assignments for the 114th Congress.

The congresswoman of Ohio's 11th congressional district, which includes the largely Black city of Cleveland and neighboring suburbs of Cuyahoga County, and a largely Black section of the city of Akron and staggering parts of its Summit County suburbs, was assigned on Wednesday to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. 

The assignment was among other committee assignments, but one that Fudge has highlighted for immediate discussion.

“I welcome the challenge and the opportunity to ensure that all of America’s children have access to a quality education,” said Fudge, in a press release to Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news. “We must advance policies and priorities that provide adequate funding, and equitably allocate resources, and ensure that all students graduate from high school and are college and career ready.”

The federal lawmaker's announcement comes as education is gaining more attention in recent months with President Obama calling for free tuition for junior college, and amid growing concerns that Black children are still the subject of racial disparities in the nations public schools, academically, and otherwise, particularly when it comes to expulsions, suspensions and school -related arrests.

America's Black public school students are three times more likely than their White counterparts to get expelled or suspended, a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights reveals.  And while Black students represent 16 percent of student enrollment in the public sector nationwide, they represent 27 percent of students referred to law enforcement, and 31 percent of students subjected to a school-related arrest, the reports says. 

That same report, which examined public school districts across the country,  notes that Black students with disabilities (served by IDEA) represent 12 percent of the student population, but 58 percent of those placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement and 75 percent of those physically restrained at school to immobilize them or reduce their ability to move freely are Black. 

The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education is part of the Workforce Committee on which the congresswoman first served in 2009. She will also serve as a member of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. 

Fudge, who is one of only to two Blacks from Ohio in Congress, the other of whom is Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Columbus Democrat,  remains on the House Agriculture Committee, and was appointed also last week to the subcommittees on nutrition, biotechnology, horticulture, and research.( / (