Bush Scores Modest Victory on Ed. Budget
Democrats still get way in key areas; Reading First takes a major hit.
School districts will see a boost in funding for disadvantaged students but a dramatic cut to the controversial Reading First program under the spending plan approved for fiscal year 2008 .
The measure, signed by President Bush after a protracted budget battle with Democrats in Congress, appropriates $59.2 billion for U.S. Department of Education programs in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, a 2.9 percent increase over fiscal 2007. Democrats largely gave in to a hard-line White House stance that earlier measures were too out of line with the president’s budget proposal.
Education lobbyists were generally disappointed with the final measure, including Congress’ decision to retain earmarks, or small projects requested by individual lawmakers, across the federal budget, at the expense of boosting spending for education programs. Lawmakers eliminated most earmarks in fiscal year 2007 to make room for increases to the Title I program for disadvantaged students and...
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