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Vol. 30: Government Shutdown Ends

Government Shutdown Ends

After three days of a government shutdown, a compromise was reached this past Monday in the U.S. Congress. A bipartisan short-term spending plan was passed that will keep the government open until February 8th. This agreement included long-term funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP. CHIP will receive funding for the next six years.

This comes after lawmakers failed to reauthorize funding for the CHIP program back in September. In the past, this popular funding plan was often reauthorized well in advance of the deadline. While the delay in funding was anxiety-inducing for recipients and their families, The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is grateful that the U.S. Congress has provided long-term funding for CHIP as many of our students and families rely on the program to afford the cost of medical expenses. 

However, this short-term bill did not include an expected agreement on protections for DREAMers through funding for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. 

The push to inform teachers about DACA and immigration laws has transformed in recent months to a push for advocacy.

As the Council of Great City Schools eloquently reminds us: "The mission of public schools is to create opportunity—not for some children, but for all. The public-school system has not always been true to that dream, but it is striving to meet the needs of those dreamers now. For urban public schools, whose classrooms are filled with students from all over the world, our mission is not to reflect or perpetuate the walls that others would build. Our job is to tear them down, to educate future generations of informed, engaged citizens."

Introduced in several forms since 2001, the bill would essentially make DACA law, granting a reprieve from deportation for registered immigrants who were brought to the country illegally at a young age.

CMSD supports taking action and putting the DREAM Act—the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act-- to a vote, thereby acting quickly to ensure this protection into law and removing the uncertainty facing so many of our country's school children. 

The shutdown compromise was reached in part due to the Senate Majority Leader's commitment to reach a bipartisan deal on DACA by February 8th, a mere two weeks away.  

We are grateful for the Ohio legislators who assisted in ensuring the CHIP funding and for their continued work on DACA and other policies that impact our scholars.