FY 1999 Federal Education Budget Is FINALLY Final!
After passing a sixth continuing resolution last Monday to keep the government running through midnight Wednesday, the House and Senate finally passed the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. On Thursday, President Clinton signed it.
As anticipated in the last NSTA Legislative Update, the Eisenhower Professional Development state grants program was level-funded at $335 million and was spared from the House proposal to block grant Eisenhower, Goals 2000, and Title VI.
Weighing 40 pounds and running 4,000-pages, the omnibus bill was massive in more ways than one---allocating $487 billion, or about one third of the entire federal budget. The bill bundled together eight (of 13) separate appropriations bills, which should have been completed in time for beginning of FY 1999 on October 1. When it was all over, House and Senate members were eager to get out of town, many of them to campaign for the November election.
Under the omnibus measure, funding for the Department of Education's discretionary budget is increased by approximately $3.6 billion, for a total of more than $33 billion. Included in this is an increase of $2.7 billion, or 16 percent, for K-12 programs compared to FY 1998 funding. (Of this, $1.2 billion goes to the Class Size Reduction Initiative discussed in the last update---more below). The total appropriation for all K-12 programs is $19.8 billion.
Other newly funded programs include these:
Teacher Training in Technology ($75 million) Community Based Technology Centers ($10 million) Literacy Initiative ($260 million) Education Opportunity Zones ($200 million) HEA Title II-Teacher Preparation ($67 million) College Mentoring (GEAR-UP) ($140 million)
Two of President Clinton's favored initiatives---school construction and national testing for fourth and eighth graders in reading and math---were blocked.
In addition to Eisenhower, the following programs were LEVEL-FUNDED:
The following programs received funding INCREASES:
Title I ($8.4 billion, up from $8 billion) Educational Technology ($125 million, from $116 million) Special Education ($5.3 billion, from $4.8 billion) 21st Century Community Learning Centers ($200 million, from $40 million) Star Schools ($45 million, from $34 million) Title VI ($375 million, from $350 million) Charter Schools ($100 million, from $80 million) Safe and Drug Free Schools ($566 million, from $556 million) Magnet Schools ($104 million, from $101 million) Bilingual Education ($224 million, from $199 million) Vocational Education ($1.2 billion, from $1.1 billion)
Funding for the following program was DECREASED:
School-to-Work ($125 million, down from $200 million) ________________________________________
More on the Class Size Reduction Initiative
School districts across the country will receive a total of $1.2 billion in school year 1999-2000 to hire more than 30,000 new teachers in the early grades under the new Class Size Reduction Initiative. The program is authorized for one year as part of Title VI of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). President Clinton is proposing that the FY 1999 funds be the first in a seven- year program to hire 100,000 teachers to reduce average class size in grades 1-3 to 18 pupils per teacher.
Funding will go to states, which will then pass all of it on to local school districts ÃÂ 80 percent based on child poverty and 20 percent based on school enrollment. Funds will be available to states beginning July 1, 1999.
Based on their needs, local school districts can use these funds directly for hiring teachers in grades 1-3. Up to 15 percent of the money can be used to pay for teacher testing and to provide professional development and training opportunities for teachers. Certified regular and special education teachers, including teachers certified through state and local alternative routes, can be recruited, hired, and trained.
Districts that have already reduced class sizes to 18 or fewer students in grades 1-3 can use their allocations to make further reductions in those grades, to reduce class size in other grades, or to carry out activities to improve teacher quality.
Funding cannot be used for salary increases or benefits, other than professional development and enrichment, for current teachers.
For additional information, go to the National Education Association web site at
California will receive the largest amount, $129 million, followed by New York ($104 million), Texas ($97 million), and Illinois and Michigan ($50 million). _____________________
NSF Budget Finalized
A separate bill recently passed by Congress set FY 1999 appropriations for the National Science Foundation at $3.7 billion, which is $243 million, or 7 percent, higher than in FY 1998. Within that budget, the Education and Human Resources (HER) directorate will get $663 million---an increase of about $30 million (about 5 percent) over last fiscal year. Informal science education will receive $10 million of this increase. The rest will go to post-secondary programs.
Congress also voted to rename NSF's Alliances for Minority Participation program after retiring Representative Louis Stokes (D-OH).
******************************************************* Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA Fax: (618)453-4244 Phone: (618)453-4241 (office) E-mail: JBECKER@SIU.EDU