The House Appropriations Committee last week approved a measure that would finance the Department of Education at about $62 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 7.8 percent increase over fiscal 2007.
The measure, approved July 11 on a voice vote, includes a $631 million, or 61 percent, cut to the Reading First program, which was the subject of a series of reports by federal auditors that largely substantiated allegations of conflicts of interest and mismanagement in the program.
The committee approved an amendment from Rep. James T. Walsh, R-N.Y., that would provide an additional $335 million for students in special education over what an appropriations subcommittee had approved last month. With those added funds, the bill would allocate $11.3 billion for special education grants to states, a 4.6 percent increase over the fiscal 2007 level.
Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 21 approved a bill that would provide $60.1 billion for the Education Department, a 4.5 percent increase over its $57.5 billion fiscal 2007 budget, and 7.3 percent more than President Bush’s 2008 proposal.
The Senate measure, approved 26-3, would cut nearly $230 million from Reading First, a 22.3 percent decrease from the $1.1 billion it is receiving in fiscal 2007.
A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2007 edition of Education Week