House Panel Would Raise Spending for Disadvantaged

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Washington--The House Budget Committee last week recommended that spending for education programs aimed at the disadvantaged be increased to keep pace with inflation next year and that other education programs be frozen at 1985 levels.

The Democratic-controlled panel voted along party lines to maintain the current level of services in compensatory education, Head Start, education for the handicapped and vocational rehabilitation, Indian education, and some aid programs for postsecondary students and institutions.

For child-nutrition programs, the committee adopted the funding levels of HR 7, the bill passed by the Education and Labor Committee earlier this month that would increase spending by $100 million. (See Education Week, May 15, 1985.)

The education-spending measures were part of a budget blueprint for fiscal 1986 that was expected to be considered on the House floor this week.

The Republican-controlled Senate this month voted to freeze elementary- and secondary-education spending and to trim spending for impact aid and financial aid for college students.

Differences Outlined

Under the Senate-passed budget, the spending ceiling for education, job training, and social programs would be $30.1 billion. The House committee budget would allow $32.05 billion for these programs, according to Susan Frost, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of 96 advocacy groups.

Ms. Frost said an across-the-board freeze at 1985 levels would translate into a spending ceiling for these programs of $31.5 billion; based on estimates of the Congressional Budget Office, current services could be provided with a budget of $32.3 billion, she said.

The differences between the House and Senate budgets would have to be reconciled in a conference committee, which could complete its work before Memorial Day.

In other budget action, the House Appropriations Committee postponed until this week action on a supplemental appropriations bill for the current fiscal year. The spending measure approved by its education subcommittee reportedly contains no extra money for school-related programs.--jh

Vol. 04, Issue 35

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