Education

Federal File

May 24, 2000 1 min read

Temporary truce

House Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on much about education policy, but they put their differences aside and came together to honor teachers earlier this month.

The House unanimously passed a resolution May 9, National Teacher Day, to honor the nation’s more than 3 million teachers. The resolution, a nonbinding measure sponsored by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, declared that House members recognize “the unique and important achievements of America’s teachers.”

The event didn’t stay entirely bipartisan, though. The chamber’s GOP leaders took advantage of the opportunity to call on the Senate to pass the proposed Teacher Empowerment Act, a bill that would grant districts more leeway in spending federal money for hiring and training teachers.

Most Democrats oppose the measure because it would largely dismantle President Clinton’s class-size-reduction plan.

Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley lunched with the lions last week—that is, the lion-puppet stars of the new Public Broadcasting Service program “Between the Lions.”

Mr. Riley and three of the new TV show’s stars, Theo, Cleo, and Leona, plus executives from PBS, hosted a luncheon at the National Press Club to celebrate the series, which began airing April 3.

Later the same day, professional basketball players Stephon Marbury and Juwan Howard spoke to members of Congress and Clinton administration officials about the television series and the importance of federal literacy programs.

“Between the Lions” was created to help teach reading skills to children ages 4 to 7. It has received grants totaling more than $6 million from the Department of Education’s office of educational technology, and department officials advised PBS on the development of the show. (“Move Over, Big Bird: ‘The Lions’ Is Ready To Hit PBS Stations,” March 29, 2000.)

—Joetta L. Sack federal@epe.org

A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2000 edition of Education Week

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