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$75 Million Added to E.D. 1984 Funds

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Washington--House Democrats avoided a confrontation with President Reagan last week by substantially rolling back fiscal 1984 education-spending increases that were included in a temporary governmentwide appropriations bill.

President Reagan signed the bill, a continuing resolution, on Nov. 14, and in doing so gave his approval to an additional $75 million in education spending this fiscal year.

Approximately $15.22 billion was earmarked for the Education Department in a regular appropriations bill signed by the President on Oct. 31. Education lobbyists, however, had pressured members of the Congress to increase that amount.

On Nov. 10, the House added a rider to the continuing resolution that would have added a total of $997.7 million in additional funds for education and other social programs to the fiscal 1984 budget. (See Education Week, Nov. 16, 1983.) But hours later, the Senate stripped the amendment from the measure, thus forcing a compromise on the additional funds when the bill was sent to a House-Senate conference committee.

Amendment Cut

During the weekend, the House conferees agreed to cut their social-spending amendment to $99.7 million--90 percent less than the amount approved by the chamber.

Programs for the education of the handicapped, which received $1.2 billion under the regular appropriations bill, would get an additional $25 million under the amendment.

Likewise, vocational-rehabilitation programs would receive an additional $10 million (up from $1.1 billion), and student-aid programs an additional $10 million (up from $3.97 billion). The amendment also provided $30 million for a new program designed to help school districts that enroll a disproportionate number of legal and illegal alien children.--tm

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