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Action Set on 2 Related Spending Bills

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WASHINGTON--In addition to the conference sessions planned on the Education Department's appropriation for the next fiscal year, House-Senate negotiations are set to begin on two other education-related spending bills for 1989. The measures include funding for school asbestos-abatement grants, Indian education, and education programs operated by the National Science Foundation.

The asbestos program could receive its first increase in four years if the $65 million recommended in the House version of HR 4800 survives the conference panel's scrutiny. The Senate bill allots $40 million--the same amount earmarked in fiscal years 1986, 1987, and 1988.

The NSF, which is covered by the same bill, would receive $1.89 billion under the House version--$1 million more than in the Senate bill and $19 million more than in the current fiscal year.

The House bill would earmark $171 million for science and engineering education, the full amount allowed under pending reauthorization legislation and $32 million more than current funding. The Senate bill provides only $156 million.

Indian-education programs, which are included in HR 4867, appear likely to win small increases for 1989. The Education Department's Indian programs, funded at $66.3 million this year, would receive $68.2 million under the House version of the bill and $72.3 million under the Senate version.

The House bill earmarks $269.8 million and the Senate bill $266.7 million for schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which received $238 million in 1988.--JM

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