Democrats Aim to Resist Bush Budget
No major education increase proposed in president’s plan.
Democrats in Congress say they are prepared to resist President Bush’s level-funding budget proposal for education until the next president—who they hope will be more inclined to raise spending—takes office. That means the outcome of this year’s budget showdown could hinge on the November election, not on a compromise between the White House and Capitol Hill.
Mr. Bush last week proposed $59.2 billion in discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Education in fiscal 2009. His plan includes a modest proposed increase in Title I spending , an effort to reverse a dramatic cut Congress made to the Reading First program, and yet another try for a school choice program that includes private school vouchers.
But Democrats, who control both houses of Congress, made it clear they intend to write spending bills that reflect their own priorities, including boosting funding for programs under the No Child Left Behind Act. They assailed the administration’s proposals to expand private and public school choice and eliminate some education programs popular with lawmakers, such as the $1.16 billion Career and Technical Education State Grants .
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