Congress last week gave final approval to a $124 billion emergency spending bill financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that also includes $60 million in aid to school districts and colleges hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
The Senate passed the measure April 26, on a vote of 51-46. The House approved the bill on a vote of 218-208 on April 25. Both votes were largely along party lines. President Bush was expected to veto the bill over its language relating to the war in Iraq.
The fiscal 2007 measure includes $30 million for school districts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to hire teachers, pay relocation expenses, and provide professional development. It also contains $425 million to extend for one year the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, a spending program that provides federal aid to make up for diminished timber revenues in counties that are home to national forests.
The program expired in September, and communities received the last of their payments in December, leaving some worried that they may have to lay off teachers or close schools.
A version of this article appeared in the May 02, 2007 edition of Education Week