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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

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Kline Wants More Aid for Special Ed., Less for Obama Priorities

By Alyson Klein — March 20, 2012 1 min read

U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, wants to see Congress put more money into state grants for special education. He sent a letter to the leading lawmakers on the House panel that oversees K-12 spending. Check it out here.

Kline’s letter might foreshadow a funding fight similar to last year’s, in which House Republicans sought to shift big bucks into the key formula grants near and dear to education advocates (Title I grants for disadvantaged students and special education) at the expense of some of the Obama administration’s favorite programs (Race to the Top, the Investing in Innovation Grants, and the School Improvement Grants).

Ultimately, the administration won that funding fight. But we may have to wait until the presidential election results are in to see if it prevails again. If Obama’s out, those programs may be, too.

Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the chairman of the House Budget Committee, put out a spending blueprint today that calls for big cuts to domestic spending (which includes education).

There aren’t a lot of specifics in the proposal about education. But it looks like nondefense discretionary spending (the education category) would be cut by $27 billion or 5.8 percent for fiscal year 2013, according to Joel Packer, the executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, a lobbying coalition in Washington.

Stay tuned: The latest Ryan plan is just the very first act in what is likely to be a very long budget drama this year.

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