Education Earmarks Get Scrutiny
The president seeks to rein in dedicated appropriations but some defend practice.
Every year, many school districts and other organizations seeking money for physical education equipment, teacher training, and dozens of other projects solicit their representatives in Congress for a little extra federal aid—designated just for them.
Such specific funding proposals, known as earmarks, come at a collective cost for other federal education programs, critics say. The practice diminishes the amount of money available for Title I grants for disadvantaged students, for special education grants to the states, and other programs that have received only small increases over the last several fiscal years, they say.
Districts that ask for earmarks “just don’t think about the whole context,” said Mary L. Kusler, the assistant director of governmental relations for the American Association of School Administrators, in Arlington,Va. “They think, ‘Oh this is chump change,’ ” and don’t consider how the requests contribute to underfunding for other...
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