Lawmakers on the House panel that oversees the Department of Education’s budget criticized President Bush’s fiscal 2007 education spending plan at a hearing last week.
Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies lambasted the president’s proposal to eliminate funding for long-standing programs such as Upward Bound and vocational education to make room for a high school improvement initiative and new mathematics and science programs.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings defended the proposal, saying the administration is trying to help more students prepare for college. “Vocational education is for students who are not college-bound,” she said at the March 9 hearing. The high school initiative is structured so that states could continue to finance vocational education and other programs slated for elimination, if they are working well, she contended.
Rep. Mike R. Simpson, R-Idaho, asked Ms. Spellings for evidence that the programs slated for cuts are ineffective. He said he did not think proven programs should be cut to pay for an untested high school initiative.
A version of this article appeared in the March 15, 2006 edition of Education Week