News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

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Bush to Seek $1 Billion Hikes For Title I and IDEA Grants

President Bush says he'll propose $1 billion increases for both Title I grants and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in his upcoming budget.

Both the Title I grant programs, now financed at a total of $10.35 billion, and the IDEA, funded at $8.3 billion for state grants, saw large increases for the current budget year as well, and have been top priorities for congressional lawmakers. The president is scheduled to unveil his fiscal 2003 budget plan on Feb. 4.

"We have a special obligation to disadvantaged children to close the achievement gap in our nation," Mr. Bush said in disclosing his support for the spending increases during his weekly radio address on Jan. 19. "But we want these new dollars to carry to special education the same spirit of reform and accountability we have brought to other education programs."

The radio address commemorated the life of Martin Luther King Jr., two days before the federal holiday in his honor. Mr. Bush said the civil rights leader would not accept any less than equal education for all children.

—Joetta L. Sack

President Wants Boost for Black Colleges

President Bush will propose spending an additional $12 million for historically black colleges and universities in fiscal 2003, the White House announced last week.

The fiscal 2002 budget includes $255 million to support historically black colleges and graduate schools, and another $8.5 million for bolstering minority achievement in science and engineering.

President Bush has pledged to increase federal funding for the country's approximately 100 historically black colleges and universities by 30 percent between 2001 and 2005.

The announcement of the proposed increase for fiscal 2003, which begins Oct. 1, came on Martin Luther King Jr., Day. At a White House event the same day, Jan. 21, Mr. Bush announced a new scholars' program bearing Dr. King's name that will offer paid internships at the Department of Education to college students. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's widow, joined the president for the occasion.

—Joetta L. Sack

Seminar to Feature Education Secretaries

Former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. might have become the secretary of education in a Gore administration last year but for the electoral contretemps in Florida. Instead, he will lead the man who got the job and the five living former U.S. education secretaries Feb. 20 in a wide-ranging discussion of American education.

The Education Leadership Summit at Duke University in Durham, N.C., will feature Secretary of Education Rod Paige; Shirley M. Hufstedler, named the first secretary of education by President Carter; William J. Bennett, who succeeded the late Terrel H. Bell in the job during the Reagan years; Lauro F. Cavazos, who served under both President Reagan and the first President Bush; Lamar Alexander, who followed Mr. Cavazos under the first President Bush; and Richard W. Riley, who headed the Department of Education throughout the Clinton administration.

The three-hour symposium, moderated by Mr. Hunt, will be open to the public and will address, among other issues, the national teacher shortage, school choice and vouchers, achievement gaps, testing and standards, and character education.

—Ben Wear

Idaho Governor Named to NAGB

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho, a Republican, will become the newest member of the National Assessment Governing Board, Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced this month.

Mr. Kempthorne will serve the remainder of a four-year term, which will expire in September 2004. He was elected governor in 1998.

The 25-member board develops policy guidance for the congressionally mandated National Assessment of Educational Progress, benchmark tests given to a sampling of students in most states.

The board includes current and former governors and legislators, testing experts, researchers, educators, and representatives of the general public.

Under the newly reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, states will be required to test students annually in reading and mathematics in grades 3 to 8.

The national assessment, which will now be given with more frequency, serves as a check on the efficacy of the testing programs of individual states.

—Joetta L. Sack

Vol. 21, Issue 20, Pages 24-25

Published in Print: January 30, 2002, as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
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