Legislative Action Team Advisory

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Federal Funding for the next school year

The fiscal year began on October 1st with a continuing resolution in place. For education programs this has little impact as our funding for this school year was appropriated last year. However, it is important for next year. IRA members routinely report that one of the key problems with NCLB is the lack of funds.

This week the Senate is expected to take up their appropriations bill. The Senate bill is above the President in its proposed spending for education, but below the president. In gross terms:

FY 07 President 08 House 08 Senate Committee 08
$67.2 $62.6 $65.6 $63.6 (in billion)

The problem is the overall spending level for non-defense appropriations. The President is pushing for a lower figure and may well veto any spending bill over his budget. The Senate a coalition of Democrats and Republicans are saying that they want an increased allocation so that they can put more into education. In the House they made a higher allocation to education and are trying to expand support for a higher Senate level – in both Republican and Democratic circles. They want to have a bill that is “veto-proof.”

Current timing is for the Senate to vote this week and then quickly move to a House-Senate conference and then send the bill to the president. Most likely it will be vetoed and then more cuts will be made OR an over-ride.

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of over 100 education groups, including IRA, is pushing for the entire education community to push for a vote in the Senate and then for the higher numbers in the House. For IRA members who wish to support higher spending, call your Senator this week (202-224-3121) and ask for your Senator to support the higher allocation for education. There are a lot of discussions going on now to determine what program will get what specific funding amount.


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