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Topic: NSTA Legislative Update - FYI
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
NSTA Legislative Update - FYI
Posted: Oct 18, 1998 4:14 PM
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October 15, 1998

Education Budget Deal Reached Today

For this fiscal year, at least, funding for the
Eisenhower Professional Development Program WILL NOT
be block granted, as had been proposed by the House.
Instead, the Eisenhower program will be funded as a
SEPARATE program for FY 1999 at the Senate level of
$335 million, which is the same amount as in FY 1998.

Congress and the White House reached final agreement
on the budget this afternoon, although the Omnibus
Appropriations Bill, which is expected to be thousands
of pages long, will not be passed until sometime
tomorrow. The bill details $500 billion in
spending---about one-third of the federal budget---and
folds eight of the 13 annual appropriations bills into
one huge spending bill.

After the vote on this bill is taken, the 105th
Congress will go out of business, and lawmakers will
return to their districts and states to campaign for
the November elections.

One of the most interesting last-minute developments
during the budget negotiations was a bipartisan deal
to provide $1.1 billion in funding for reducing class
size and hiring and training quality teachers. This
is President Clinton's original class-size
reduction/hiring of 100,000 new teachers initiative
but with a Republican twist: Funding will go directly
by formula (50 percent based on school-age population
and 50 percent based on Title I, or poverty level) to
local school districts through Title VI. Only 3
percent of the money can be used for administration at
the local level.

Local districts will not have to apply for the funds.
The only accountability requirement is a local annual
report to parents and the public on student

Funds can be spent to recruit, hire, train, and test
regular classroom teachers, special education
teachers, and teachers of special needs children. The
money can also be used to hire qualified teachers
through state and local alternative certification
routes and to carry out professional development of
teachers consistent with the new professional
development provisions under the Higher Education Act
(details on this in a later NSTA update). The funds
CANNOT be used to increase teacher salaries or

The budget deal does NOT include expansion of the
Ed-Flex Program from the current 12 states to all
states, as had been proposed. Nor does it include
Clinton's school construction proposal.

Further details on the budget deal will appear in the
next NSTA update.
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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