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Coal from Congress December 23, 2005

Posted by Michael McVey in Funding.

congress Last night the federal budget passed out of the Senate and earlier in the week the defense budget was passed. The National School Boards Association President, Joan Schmidt, wrote:

The nation’s defense bill, which includes funding for our troops during a time of war, should never have been used as a cover to enact bad legislation for our public schools. But that is precisely what Congress has done. The House voted this week in the middle of the night to cut education funding and simultaneously enact a private school voucher program under the guise of hurricane relief. And now the Senate has followed suit and prepared to head home for the year, leaving behind broken promises to America’s schoolchildren.

I am all for an open and robust debate about the merits of one funding system over another, but to feel that the only way to get the legislation on charter schools through was by embedding it in other funding bills then I am appalled. It gets worse though when you read the analysis of the federal budget that was just passed:

The massive, $602 billion spending package . . . slashes funding for several ed-tech related programs, including $221 million less for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) state block-grant program, the primary source of federal funding for educational technology . . .a sobering reality for proponents of educational technology nationwide, many of whom had hoped to persuade Congress to restore funds to EETT and other technology-related initiatives after House lawmakers rejected an earlier version of the bill in November.

You can read the article from eSchool News for more details. One point the article makes is that many school districts had relied on that money to support the demands of No Child Left Behind. In Arizona the threat of lost funding money has broken up many technology training programs.



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