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Topic: NSTA Legislative Update
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
NSTA Legislative Update
Posted: Aug 3, 1998 10:40 PM
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July 27, 1998

House To Take Up Potential Block Granting
Of Eisenhower Program; Senate Likely To Follow

The House of Representatives had been scheduled to
vote on the FY 1999 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations
bill (HR 4274) this week. But now, with memorial
services for the two Capitol Police officers who were
killed tragically last Friday to be held this Thursday
and Friday, it is unclear whether the bill will be
scheduled for a vote next week---or whether it will
wait until early September when Congress returns from
its August recess.

HR 4274 is of critical importance to science
educators because it would allow the combining of
funds from the Eisenhower Professional Development
program and Goals 2000 with those of Title VI. This
would effectively create a block grant since Title VI
is already very loosely defined to permit many
possible uses. With this move, Eisenhower funds would
NO LONGER BE TARGETED just for professional

In addition, HR 4274 would fund the Eisenhower
program at $285 million, which is $50 MILLION LESS
THAN IN FY 1998 ($335 million). Of this amount, $250
million is slated for professional development in
science and math.

Before the appropriations bill is brought up for a
vote, however, Republicans want to be sure they have
the votes they need for passage. Joel Packer of NEA
reports that, at present, Republicans are 30 to 40
votes short. This is why YOUR voice matters now.

If you want the Eisenhower program to continue to
serve the needs of science and math teachers, it is
important to contact your representative and senators
NOW to oppose the combining of Eisenhower funds with
those of Goals 2000 and Title VI. (Although the
Senate will not take up its appropriations bill until
early September, it is also very important to register
your opinion to your senators before that time since
the details of the bill are still being written.)

Basically, ask your representative and senators to
vote AGAINST any appropriations bill that block grants
the Eisenhower program. In addition, ask that the
Eisenhower program be funded at a minimum of $335
million (the current FY 1998 amount) or more.

Here are some key points you might want to include in
your comments on HR 4274 and the Senate
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (as yet

1. For the vast majority of science and math teachers,
the Eisenhower program offers the primary, or only,
source of support for professional development
opportunities in science and math.

2. Because schools have so many competing needs, the
option to shift funds from the Eisenhower program into
Title VI will in all likelihood eliminate professional
development opportunities in science and math.

3. The need for professional development in science is
critical because the fields of science and technology
are constantly changing.

4. Include a brief personal story about how you and your
students have benefited from the Eisenhower program.

Although it is important for each of us to contact our
representative and senators, the following House
Republicans are considered to be swing members in the
upcoming House vote:

CT - Nancy Johnson, Christopher Shays
DE - Michael Castle
IA - Greg Ganske
IL - Ray LaHood, Jerry Weller
MD - Connie Morella
MI - Vernon Ehlers, Fred Upton
NH - Charles Bass
NJ - Frank LoBiondo, Marge Roukema, Bob Franks
NY - John McHugh, Jack Quinn, Sue Kelly, Michael
Forbes, Sherwood Boehlert, Benjamin Gilman, Amo
Houghton, James Walsh
OH - Steven LaTourette, Bob Ney
PA - Philip English

Here is the contact information for the House and

By phone:

Call the Capitol switchboard at (202)
224-3121. Ask to be connected to your
representative/senators offices.

By mail:

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative (last name):

The Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senator (last name):

By e-mail: Through the C-SPAN service at

NOTE: With mail and e-mail, BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR
HOME ADDRESS to indicate you are a constituent of the
representative or senator.

NSTA has already sent a letter to the 60 members of
the House Appropriations Committee and to 23 moderate
House and Senate Republicans to condemn the cut in
Eisenhower appropriations and the provision allowing
the Eisenhower program to be rolled into a block

Remember, however, that even though NSTA can speak out,


Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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