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House Sets $21.9 Billion for E.D., Boosting Spending

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WASHINGTON--The House last week approved by a vote of 362 to 46 a fiscal 1989 spending measure that includes $21.9 billion for the Education Department--a $1.7-billion increase over 1988 and $700 million more than the Administration requested.

The House adopted by unanimous consent an amendment requiring recipients of funds under the bill to enforce "in good faith'' policies to ensure that their workplaces are drug-free. The provision could allow the Education Department to cut off federal aid to a school or college if an employee is convicted of an on-the-job drug offense.

Representative Robert S. Walker, Republican of Pennsylvania, has attached similar language to several other bills.

Companion Senate Bill

A companion Senate bill, scheduled for committee action later this month, is likely to provide less money for education.

The House bill provides $4.67 billion for the Chapter 1 compensatory-education program, $107 million more than the Administration's request and $336 million more than was provided in 1988.

Of that amount, $3.9 billion would be earmarked for basic state grants, the same amount requested by the Administration. In addition, $200 million would be provided for concentration grants, $30 million to assist states in providing aid to private-school students, and $25 million for Even Start, a new program aimed at disadvantaged preschoolers and their parents.

Less for Chapter 2

The bill would provide $51 million less for Chapter 2 block grants than the Education Department had requested, boosting aid for the program by only $10.8 million, to $489.5 million.

The legislation also would provide $888,000 less than requested by the department for education research, earmarking $83.5 million, almost $16 million more than in 1988.

The measure specifies that much of the money is to be spent on the agency's network of laboratories and centers, and forbids the department to close its Center for Language Education and Research in 1989, as it plans to do. (See Education Week, April 20, 1988.)

The bill provides $2 million to establish new centers on the education of disadvantaged children and teacher evaluation, and its accompanying report would prohibit the department from opening any other new centers without notifying the Congress. A new center on civics and citizenship education had been planned.

The National Center for Education Statistics, which was separated from the rest of the department's research arm by recent legislation, would receive $23.7 million under the bill, as well as $9.5 million for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the amount the Administration had requested.

Administration Cuts Rejected

The bill would continue 1988 funding levels for several programs targeted for elimination by the Administration, including: Star Schools, at $19 million; aid for homeless students, at $4.7 million; and the Women's Educational Equity Act, at $3.3 million.

Impact aid would receive $740- million under the bill, $31.5 million more than in 1988 and $148 million more than requested. A perennial Administration proposal to eliminate funding for "B'' students, whose parents live or work on federal property, was again rejected.

Programs for the handicapped would be funded at $1.9 billion, $5- million more than requested and $52.8 million more than in 1988.

That total includes $1.48 billion in basic state grants, $4.3 million more than proposed and $46.8 million more than in the current year, and $205- million for preschool grants, a $4-million increase as requested.

The representatives rejected a proposal to merge programs for deaf-blind and severely handicapped children, and voted to continue the 1988 funding level of $19.7 million.

Administration Requests Filled

The House agreed to Administration requests for:

  • Bilingual education, which would be increased by $10 million, to $156.6 million.
  • Assistance for magnet schools, which would receive a $43.2-million boost, to $115 million.
  • Mathematics and science education, which would receive $119.7- million, the same as in 1988.
  • The new Fund for the Improvement of Schools and Teaching, slated to receive $12 million.
  • Desegregation-assistance centers, which would receive $23.4 million, the same as in 1988.
  • The Leadership in Educational Administration program, which would receive $4.4 million, a reduction of $3.8 million.
  • A dropout-prevention initiative created this year, which would be cut by $2.5 million, to $21.4 million.

The committee report said that because local matching-fund requirements are higher for the program's second year, the lesser amount should be sufficient.

  • Adult-education state grants, which would be increased by $32.6- million, to $148 million. The bill would also continue 1988 funding for workplace-literacy and homeless-education programs that the Administration proposed eliminating.

The bill, HR 4783, would fund vocational-education programs at $925.2 million, a $44.1-million increase. It matches the Administration request of $848.3 million for basic state grants, but also continues 1988 funding for programs targeted at homemaking and consumer education, community-based organizations, and bilingual vocational training that the Administration sought to eliminate.

Head Start, the preschool program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, would receive $1.25 billion under the bill, $43.7 million above both the 1988 appropriation and the Administration's request.

The bill would give the Secretary of Education $8.6 million in discretionary funds. That is $4 million more than requested, but the extra money is earmarked for health-education programs.

Big Boost in Loan Program

The largest increase in the bill--$609 million--would go to Guaranteed Student Loans. The proposed $3.2-billion funding level is $440-million more than the Administration estimated would be needed for this entitlement program.

However, while total student aid would increase by $362.9 million from 1988 under the legislation, the $5.9-billion allocation is $191.8 million under the Administration request.

That is because the bill would increase Pell Grants by only $261.5- million, to $4.5 billion, $498 million less than requested. But it would provide $460 million for supplemental grants and $635 million for work-study, about $78 million more than requested for both programs.

The representatives again rejected the Administration's proposal to phase out Perkins loans for low-income students, which would receive the same $185.7 million as in 1988, in favor of income-contingent loans. The latter program would expand by $692,000 to $5 million; the department had requested $50 million.

Other higher-education programs would be funded at $577.36 million, $127.1 million more than requested and $42.9 million more than in 1988.

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