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Bill To Supersede Automatic Cuts Could Raise Education Spending

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Federal education spending could increase slightly in the current fiscal year if the Congress approves a bill to supersede automatic budget cuts that went into effect late last month under the provisions of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit-reduction law.

Congressional and White House budget negotiators unveiled a package of tax increases and budget reductions on Nov. 20, the day the automatic cuts took effect. The plan is expected to reduce the federal deficit by more than $70 billion over the next two years.

The negotiated package calls for about $2.6 billion in reductions in discretionary domestic programs for fiscal 1988. It allows, however, for a slight overall increase in education funding, although not up to the levels that have been approved in House and Senate appropriations bills.

Conferees on the appropriations bills are expected to begin meeting this week to reconcile differences in the two versions and make reductions that would bring the bills into line with the negotiated agreement.

Final action on the entire federal budget is expected by the end of this month.--rrw

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