G.O.P. Senators Are Pondering $300-Million Cuts in Education

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Washington--As Republican Senators' self-imposed Feb. 1 deadline to complete an alternative fiscal 1986 budget approached, gop legislators were considering $300 million in spending cuts for precollegiate education, including the elimination of five education-related programs, according to documents prepared by the Senate Budget Committee.

The programs designated for elimination include the newly authorized $75-million magnet-schools and $10-million excellence-in-education initiatives.

The proposals would also eliminate education-related programs that the Reagan Administration has unsuccessfully sought to kill in recent years, including impact-aid "B" payments to districts where parents live or work on federal land--saving $100 million--and the Women's Educational Equity and Follow Through programs.

The Senators would slash $100 million from the $173-million bilingual-education program and reduce spending for the Chapter 1 migrant-education program and Title IV technical desegregation assistance.

The budget-committee proposal would "refocus the bilingual-education program entirely on English as a second language and 'sensitive' immersion instruction" and would eliminate bilingual-education grants to local school districts.

The Congress appropriated $17.6 billion for the Education Department for the current fiscal year.

Congressional sources emphasized that these were proposals only "on the table" and not part of any specific recommendations.

Majority Leader Robert J. Dole, Republican of Kansas, had asked committee and subcommittee chairmen to recommend spending cuts in an effort to build a consensus, according to Bruce Hunter, legislative specialist with the American Association of School Administrators.

Opposition to Cuts

Mr. Hunter is one of a group of education lobbyists who have met with Republican and Democratic Senate and House leaders over the past month, stating their groups' opposition to cuts in the education budget.

"We don't find any consensus for how they're going to go for cuts," Mr. Hunter said last week of the Senate Republicans' effort to reduce the federal deficit by $57 billion from the $225 billion projected by the Office of Management and Budget.

At the end of last week, Senator Robert T. Stafford, Republican of Vermont and chairman of the Senate education subcommittee, had not made any recommendations to the gop leadership on where to cut education spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 1985.

President Reagan is due to submit his budget to the Congress on Feb. 4, but the conventional wisdom, Mr. Hunter said, is that those proposals will be "dead on arrival" on Capitol Hill and that the Administration will essentially support whatever consensus budget Senator Dole can complete.

Vol. 04, Issue 19

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