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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 26, 1998 1:14 PM
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October 26, 1998

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

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.

The Specifics

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

Goals 2000 ($491 million)
Technology Literacy Challenge Fund ($425 million)
Immigrant Education ($150 million)

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
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 – 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

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

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

State-by-state allocations and the estimated number of
teachers who will be hired using Class Size Reduction funds
can be found 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

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)

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