Pubdate: Sat, 30 Jul 2005
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2005 The Oregonian
Author: Chris Mulligan
Bookmark: (Higher Education Act)


Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., voted "no" on an amendment to HR609, the College
Access and Opportunity Act of 2005, which would fully lift the financial aid
ban for students with past drug convictions.

By voting "no," Wu ensured that thousands of students will continue to
be denied financial aid because of youthful indiscretions. Many of
them are honest, hard-working students who are actively seeking
educations to better their lives.

Unfortunately, minorities are far more likely to be affected by the
Higher Education Act Drug Provision because of their
overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. The ban also
largely affects students from lower-or middle-income homes, who rely
on financial aid to go to school. It is time for Congress to realize
that education should be used as a tool for reintegration, and not as
a deterrent or punishment.

Chris Mulligan Campaign director

Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform

Washington, D.C.
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