Other Details of Education Budget

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Other details of the Administration's proposed education budget for fiscal 1989 include:

A $23-million boost for the Chapter 2 block-grant program, to $540.5 million. Secretary Bennett has also requested an additional $4.7 million for the discretionary fund included under Chapter 2, proposing to use the money primarily to support "exemplary" early-childhood-education programs and demonstrations of alternative teacher certification.

A $12-million hike in bilingual-education funding, which department officials said was spurred by the Congress's decision to allow more money to flow to alternative, English-based programs.

An increase from $229.8 million to $250 million for education programs under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which the Administration proposed halving in 1988.

A research budget of $81 million, a $12-million jump from 1988. The biggest jump would be slated for statistical activities.

Small increases for adult- and Indian-education programs.

Increased magnet-schools aid. The proposed budget would hike funding from $75 million to $115- million, the full amount to be authorized in pending omnibus legislation. The Administration also proposed allowing as much as $40 million of that funding to flow to school districts that are not implementing desegregation plans.

The Senate version of HR 5 adopted the Administration's expansion proposal, but would provide a separate, $35-million authorization that would become effective only when funding for the original program reached4$100 million.

Early approval for several other programs proposed in the Senate bill.

The "Fund for the Improvement and Reform of Schools and Teaching," under which a 15-member board would dispense awards designed to spur education reform, would receive $5 million, and a demonstration program for public-school districts implementing districtwide parental choice would receive $10 million.

A dropout-prevention demonstration program, which was authorized in the 1988 appropriations bill, would receive $23.9- million, the same as in 1988.

The Star Schools telecommunications grant program, also authorized for 1988 by the appropriations measure, would be discontinued under the Administration's 1989 blueprint, because "there is no need for a new federal program in this area."

Other proposed new initiatives, including programs for gifted students and parental-involvement projects, were not mentioned in the budget.

Increases for most student-aid programs, coupled with sweeping reform proposals. (See related story, page 1.)

However, to the dismay of higher-education advocates, the Education Department is again seeking to augment its new Income-Contingent Loan initiative and eliminate the Perkins loan program, under which institutions provide direct subsidized loans to students.

Zero funding for the education sections of the 1986 Homeless Assistance Act. The department argues that the needs of homeless children and adults can be ad-8dressed through regular programs for adult-education and aid to disadvantaged students.

Renewed efforts to eliminate the Women's Educational Equity Act, aid to the Virgin Islands, Congressional scholarships for aspiring teachers, two programs that help migrant adults obtain high-school diplomas and attend college, and several small collegiate fellowship programs.

A change of heart regarding other programs the Administration has tried to kill in the past. Title IV desegregation assistance, for example, would be level-funded under the 1989 blueprint.

Some other previously condemned programs, such as library aid, immigrant and refugee education grants, and vocational-education funding, are not earmarked for elimination in 1989, but for legislative changes. The library program is still earmarked for drastic cuts, while the other programs would receive the same amount as in 1988.

The Education Department has also given up on a proposal, ignored for two years, to phase out several specialized teacher-training programs in favor of a single program focused on education reform.

The largest of these programs, aiding science and mathematics education, would be level-funded at $119.7 million.

Territorial teacher training and Christa McAuliffe scholarships would each receive $1.9 million, the same amount as in 1988. The Leadership in Educational Administration initiative, which funds training centers for school administrators, would be phased out by 1990 under the proposed budget.

Vol. 07, Issue 22

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