Senate Democrats last week promoted a budget blueprint for fiscal 2008 that would allow Congress to boost discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Education by as much as $6.1 billion above President Bush’s request of $56 billion.
The Democratic plan calls for a $4.3 billion, or 6.8 percent, increase over the final fiscal 2007 discretionary spending for the Education Department when adjusted for inflation, according to Democratic budget aides.
The budget plan would allow for a $300 increase in the size of Pell Grants for college students, as well as money to hire 50,000 new teachers and to provide extra training for another 170,000 educators, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said in a March 22 statement.
The Senate Budget Committee approved the measure on March 15. The full chamber was expected to pass the budget blueprint, possibly with amendments making changes to education spending, late last week. The blueprint is used to guide congressional tax and spending decisions later on in the annual appropriations process.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2007 edition of Education Week