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Education Groups Urge Bush To Back Increased School Funding

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Washington--If George Bush wants to fulfill his campaign pledge to become the "education President," he should back up his rhetoric with up to $12 billion a year in additional federal money, officials of the Committee for Education Funding said last week.

"Since he has made a commitment to be the education President, we have attempted to define what that means in real terms," said Gerald Morris, the cef's president, who is deputy director of legislation for the American Federation of Teachers.

It means giving the Education Department an increase of $2.5 billion in each of the four years of his Presidential term, plus a $500 million annual hike for Head Start, cef leaders said at a news conference.

The Education Department received $21.9 billion in fiscal 1989, while Head Start got $1.2 billion.

Mr. Bush will get a chance to show his commitment to education when he submits proposed changes in President Reagan's fiscal 1990 budget plan later this spring, Mr. Morris said.

"And everybody knows that when you put aside rhetoric, the real priority of an issue is reflected in the budget," he said.

The organization called for the greatest increases for programs aimed at disadvantaged students. Of the proposed $2.5-billion increase for 1990, $1.6 billion would be divided equally between precollegiate and postsecondary programs serving that population, such as Chapter 1 and Pell grants.

The remaining funds would provide a 4.1 percent increase for all education programs to cover inflation, while still allowing $150 million for "presidential initiatives" and "modest" increases for programs that are not aimed specifically at the disadvantaged, the lobbyists said.--jm

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