[EDEQUITY Dialogue]Opening Statement-Edith Harvey

From: Edith_Harvey@ed.gov
Date: Mon Oct 23 2000 - 13:31:54 EDT

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this discussion.

I serve as project officer for the Women's Educational Equity Act Program
(WEEA) within the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) at
the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the program is: to
promote gender equity in education; to promote equity in education
for women and girls who suffer from multiple forms of discrimination
based on sex and race, ethnic origin, limited English proficiency,
disability or age; and to provide financial assistance to enable
educational agencies to meet the requirements of title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972. WEEA is the only program within
OESE that focuses solely on gender equity. The interest
in WEEA is high; consequently, it is very much oversubscribed.
For example, for fiscal year 2000, we were only able to fund
seven projects out of 141 applications (our appropriation
totaled only $3 million). The level of funding has remained
constant over the past years.

Why is there so little funding for women and girls programs? If we look at
statistics, we can see that there continues to be a great need for these
programs. However, because there have been some gains and successes, many
do not recognize the void that still exists and believe that these programs
aren't as vital as they were in the eighties. Those of us who work in this
area know that this is simply not true. The need is particularly great for
girls who suffer from multiple forms of discrimination. Throughout the
year, this office is bombarded with inquiries from individuals and
organizations regarding funding.

I have a couple of questions to start off the discussion. With limited
funds available, how can we target $ to address the greatest needs? How
can we strengthen/increase the network of individuals interested in
gender equity in order to increase overall visibility which might
result in more funding?

Edith Harvey

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