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Congressional Panels Back Chapter 1 'Freeze'

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Washington--Congressional panels that oversee the Education Department's budget have recommended a freeze in federal education spending for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

Education lobbyists were particularly dismayed by the freeze in the Chapter 1 compensatory-education account, since the budget blueprint that sets spending ceilings allowed an increase at the rate of inflation in the program.

The House Appropriations Committee, accepting the recommendations of its subcommittee for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, last week cleared a $17.5-billion fiscal 1986 budget for the department; last year's level was $17.6-billion.

The bill, which was cleared by the committee last Thursday and remains unnumbered, holds spending constant for virtually all programs. Chapter 1 would stay at $3.7 billion, Chapter 2 at $532 million, bilingual education at $173 million, vocational and adult education at $933 million, special education at $1.32 billion, impact aid at $695 million, and education research at $60 million. The bill does not, however, include money for the $100-million mathematics and science initiative.

Senate Recommendations

Similarly, the Senate education appropriations subcommittee has recommended that the full appropriations panel hold spending constant for most elementary- and secondary-education programs.

The panel has recommended increases in special-education spending, but the elimination of the $30-million emergency immigrant-education program and a $63-million cut in impact-aid "B" payments, which go to school districts where parents live or work at federal installations.

The subcommittee included money for new programs authorized but not funded last year: $10 million for training centers for school administrators and $5 million for federal merit scholarships.

Meanwhile, with the fiscal year ending midnight Sept. 30, a 45-day temporary spending measure to avert a government shutdown had passed in the Congress and was awaiting President Reagan's signature.--jh

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