The House late last week approved by a vote of 220 to 183 a compromise fiscal 1995 budget resolution that would provide $44.3 billion in discretionary spending for the spending category that includes education, job training, and social services.
H Con Res 218 includes a total of $57.7 billion for that spending category, known as Function 500, adopting the higher figures that the Senate had proposed. It calls for $300 million more in discretionary spending than the President requested for that category.
Because of a technical error, the discretionary total for Function 500 is $200 million less than the amount included in the Senate bill, but those funds have not been cut, only shifted to a different category.
Agreement on the budget blueprint had been stalled as a result of negotiations over a Senate provision that would reduce existing budget caps to achieve a $26 billion reduction in outlays over five years.
A House-Senate conference committee agreed to call for a cut of $13 billion in outlays, or the amount of money actually spent in a given fiscal year.
Senators had spent more than a week counting votes to see if the blueprint could pass on the Senate floor without the spending-cut language, but they came up short.
It is unclear how the reductions would translate into budget authority, or the total amount of money the bill would authorize to be spent. That figure differs from outlays because some programs, including education programs, do not spend their allocations in one year.
It was also unclear how much impact the reduced spending caps would have on education programs since the conferees did not indicate where cuts should be made.
The Senate is expected to take up H Con Res 218 this week.
Lunch Bill: The House Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education Subcommittee last week approved legislation that would reauthorize the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition acts.
As expected, the panel did not make any changes that would mandate additional federal spending. (See Education Week, April 27, 1994.)
Lawmakers included an amendment by Rep. Bill Goodling, R-Pa., that aims to combat big-rigging in food sales to schools, and a provision that would require the Secretary of Agriculture to ask for public input when developing nutritional and compliance guidelines.
Proposals to eliminate the requirement that schools offer whole milk and to expand participation in the programs were not included, but could resurface when the full Education and Labor Committee considers the bill, probably later this month.
Drug Testing: The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to review a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court that invalidated a random drug-testing program for athletes at the University of Colorado.
The university argued that the state supreme court's ruling conflicts with rulings by other courts that have upheld drug testing of high school and college athletes.
"There is a sharp conflict between the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court and every other state and federal court that has balanced an athlete's privacy expectations against the athletic sponsor's legitimate interests in conducting drug testing,'' the university said it its appeal in University of Colorado v. Derdeyn (Case No. 93-1410).
Ruling last fall in a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado on behalf of a student-athlete, the state supreme court held that the drug-testing program was an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment and was a "significant'' intrusion on athletes' privacy.
Goals Panel Appointees: Four state legislators have been named to serve on the National Education Goals Panel.
Sen. Robert T. Connor of Delaware, Rep. Anne Barnes of North Carolina, Rep. Spencer Coggs of Wisconsin, and Rep. Doug Jones of Idaho were selected last month by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The Goals 2000: Educate America Act expanded the bipartisan panel of governors, members of Congress, and Administration officials to include state lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell of Maine also named Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., to fill one of the Congressional seats on the panel.
Summer Job Training: In guidelines issued last month by the Labor Department, the Clinton Administration continued to push for a bigger role for schools in federal summer job-training programs.
In a memo to state Job Training Partnership Act liaisons, Barbara Ann Farmer, the administrator for regional management, wrote that the J.T.P.A summer program should provide at least half of its participants nationwide with "educational services,'' either in a classroom or in a workplace setting.
A survey of J.T.P.A administrators found that 41 percent of summer-program participants received some type of educational service last year, up 9 percent from 1992.