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Topic: NSTA UPDATE
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 13,406
Registered: 12/3/04
NSTA UPDATE
Posted: Jan 19, 2000 10:32 PM
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*****************************************
From the National Science Teachers Association ...
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NSTA Legislative Update -- January 19, 2000

1. Looking Ahead: Congress Returns Jan. 24
2. The 2000 Campaign: Gore and Bush on Education
3. A Bidding War for Teachers?
4. News From the U.S. Department of Education
5. ACS Science & the Congress Luncheon Jan. 25

The NSTA Legislative Update contains important information on education
initiatives nationwide, on Capitol Hill, and at the Department of Education.
It is sent every few weeks when Congress is in session or as events warrant.

**Looking Ahead: Congress Returns On Jan. 24**

Both parties have outlined the legislative agenda they will pursue when
Members of Congress return to Washington, DC. next week. With regard to
education:

President Clinton has announced he will propose a new $1.3 billion school
emergency renovation loan and grant program as part of his FY2001 budget.
According to the White House, the $1.3 billion initiative will leverage
nearly $7 billion of renovation projects in high-poverty, high-need school
districts with little or no capacity to fund repairs

This new initiative is in addition to the School Modernization Bond
proposal, which calls for $24.8 billion in tax credit bonds over two years
to modernize up to 6,000 schools. Last year, Congress rejected Clinton's
proposal to use $3.7 billion in tax credits over five years to help local
governments issue $25 billion in bonds to renovate schools.

Vice President Gore announced two new increases for programs in the FY2001
federal education budget: an increase of more than $100 million (for a total
of $247 million) for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative; and a new
$120 million initiative to create smaller, safer, and better high schools.
The Small, Safe and Successful High Schools Initiative would offer
competitive grants to local school districts to create smaller schools or
break up larger schools by funding innovative strategies such as autonomous
schools-within-schools, career academies, restructured school days, and
other innovations that allow schools to ensure that every student receives
personal attention and academic support.

The President is expected to release his FY2001 budget on Feb. 7.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert has announced one of the first issues
Republicans will address will be the education savings account for private
schools, first introduced by Sen. Paul Coverdell.

Other education-related legislation expected in this next session of
Congress of interest to science educators include the Senate's plan to
reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to be introduced by
Senator Jeffords; the National Science Education Act, to be introduced by
Rep. Vernon Ehlers; and the Public Education Reinvestment, Reinvention, and
Responsibility Act, sponsored by Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT). A draft of
this Democrat proposal for Senate reauthorization of ESEA (Mr. Lieberman's
legislation) would consolidate most major education programs into a block
grant. The plan would "call on states and local districts to enter into a
new compact with the Federal Government to work together to raise standards
and improve educational opportunities."

Finally, Senate action is expected on S. 1266, the Academic Achievement Act
for All, commonly known as the Straight A's Act. Straight A's allows the
funding set aside for Eisenhower state grants and other federal programs
(Goals 2000 and Title VI) to be rolled into one block grant. This funding
could then be used by the governor or the state legislature for any
education purpose as long as the state met specific student achievement
requirements. The House passed this legislation last fall as a 10-state
pilot program. (For information on this bill, see the NSTA website at www.
nsta.org, click on Legislative Updates).

**The 2000 Campaign: Gore and Bush on Education**

Presidential contenders Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W.
Bush have announced some of their education proposals. Gore has proposed an
infusion of $115 billion over the next 10 years to improve teacher quality
and student performance. Gore wants to establish an education reform trust
fund, which would set aside approximately 10 cents of every dollar of the
budget surplus not dedicated to Social Security or to reduce the national
debt. In addition to proposing salary increases for teachers, Gore wants to
spend about $50 billion to make preschool universally available for 3- and
4-year olds.

Governor Bush has proposed moving Head Start to the Department of Education,
and increasing Title I funds. Bush also believes that schools should lose
federal financing after three years of failing to meet standards; instead
that money would be earmarked as vouchers so that students could attend
private schools. Gore believes failing schools would be required to adopt
plans to aggressively overhaul themselves; extra money would be devoted to
after school instruction.

**A Bidding War for Teachers?**

A New York Times article and a related op-ed and editorial in mid-January
dealt with the growing concern of teacher shortages.

Titled "A Bidding War for Teachers Spreads Coast to Coast," the article
discussed the education legislative proposals by New York Governor George
Pataki and California Governor Gray Davis. In a speech before the NY
legislature, Governor Pataki proposed to provide an annual tuition subsidy
of $3,400 to college students who promise to teach at least four years in
New York public schools with teacher shortages. Hours later, Governor Davis
proposed offering candidates who agree to teach in low-performing schools
$10,000 loans for buying a home; $30,000 bonuses for teachers who attain
NBPTS certification (teachers from in low-performing schools); and $11,000
to repay college loans.

Such offers, says the Times, "have multiplied and intensified in recent
months: at least 20 states, including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and
Massachusetts, have begun to pay bonuses of up to $6,000 a year, sometimes
for several years, to teachers who pass a new, rigorous certification test."

In a resulting op-ed titled The Teacher Crisis, NY Senator Chuck Schumer
says he plans to introduce federal legislation designed to encourage more
young people to become teachers. Under The Marshall Plan for Public School
Teachers, all undergrad student loans would be forgiven for anyone who
becomes certified and teaches for five years; the federal government would
provide a $5,000 a year salary supplement for teachers who pass a special
test in math and science given by the National Academy of Sciences; the
federal government would cover 75 percent of the cost of a cadre of master
teachers who would serve as trainers and mentors; and federal employees who
return and go into teaching would be permitted to begin receiving their
pensions as soon as they left their federal post. The Senator said his
program would cost $15 billion over 10 years.

**News from the Department of Education**

The Religion & Public Schools website offers materials that can help school
districts design their own policies on religious expression, inform teachers
and principals of their responsibilities and the rights of their students,
and provide parents with information about their children's right to
religious expression. www.ed.gov/inits/religionandschools/

Secretary Riley will deliver his 7th annual State of American Education
address at Southern High School in Durham, North Carolina on February 22,
noon ET. The speech will be broadcast live from the school via satellite and
the web to schools, communities, and cable access and television stations
nationwide. For more information on satellite coordinates to host a free
downlink site, visit www.ed.gov/registerevent or call 1-800-USA-LEARN.

The Department and the CEO Forum on Education and Technology have unveiled a
new assessment tool which will help colleges and universities evaluate how
well they prepare future educators to teach technology in the classroom. The
School Technology and Readiness (StaR) chart will help colleges of education
measure their strategic plans and funding, the age of the computers, and the
amount of time needed for technical support. For more information, contact
the CEO Forum at 202-393-1010.

**ACS Science & the Congress Luncheon Jan. 25**

On Tuesday, January 25, at the U.S. Capitol, the American Chemical Society
will host a luncheon that will focus on science and math teacher
professional development.

Education and America's Competitive Edge: Enhancing Professional Development
for Science and Mathematics Teachers will focus on the needs and the future
of K-12 science and math professional development programs; new ideas for
professional development; how states are addressing professional development
needs; and how states and local practitioners are implementing existing
programs. Speakers for the session include Linda Rosen, National Commission
on Math and Science Teaching for the 21st Century; Kip Bollinger,
Pennsylvania Department of Education; Joseph Rosenstein, The Center for
Math, Science, and Computer Education, Rutgers University; and Charlotte
Pliske, Cleveland Municipal School District.

A number of staffers and Members of Congress have been invited to attend.
The luncheon is part of the ACS Science and the Congress project; NSTA and
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers are co-sponsors. If you are in
the Washington, DC area and would like to attend the luncheon, please email
jpeterson@nsta.org.

And finally . . .

For a look at the latest lobbying effort on behalf of science and math
education, visit the website at

http://www.theonion.com/onion3547/student_funding.html

**********************************************

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618) 453-4244
Phone: (618) 453-4241 (office)
(618) 457-8903 (home)
E-mail: jbecker@siu.edu

mailto://jbecker@siu.edu





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