Topic: U.S. Congress

Short-Term Federal Budget Bill Chops National Board Certification

The U.S. House and Senate are deeply divided over budget issues, but Congress and the White House agreed this week on a two-week funding bill, buying some time to negotiate a final deal on the fiscal federal 2011 budget. While major funding streams like Title I aid for the disadvantaged will keep flowing at last year’s level, some significant programs...

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U.S. House Passes Deep Education Cuts in the Wee Hours

In the wee hours of Friday night, the majority in the U.S. House passed a bill that would hurt students and working families. H.R. 1, a bill to cut spending in the current fiscal year, would cut school-improvement grants for struggling schools, Pell Grants for low-income college students, and Head Start and Title I aid for disadvantaged pupils. AFT President...

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Federal Education Budget Battles of 2011

Before Congress gets to the battle over education funding for the next fiscal year starting in October, federal lawmakers still have to finish fighting over the budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year 2011. A bill drafted by the new Republican House majority would cut back education spending far below current levels, chopping nearly $5 billion. The targets...

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Stopgap Federal Education Aid

Right before the holiday break the U.S. Senate and House passed a stopgap bill to continue federal education funding until March 4 without increases above levels from the previous fiscal year. The Congress that gets sworn in tomorrow will make the final decisions on federal funding for the balance of the current fiscal year, which began last October 1. Prospects...

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One Last Try for the DREAM Act

A key bill left for dead last week has undergone a resurrection, thanks to quick action by grass-roots advocates and their allies in Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the DREAM Act again as a brand-new bill—one that would gives thousands of immigrant children access to the higher education they need to contribute to our society. The latest...

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Federal Education Funding on the Chopping Block in 2011

A bid to provide full-year education funding for fiscal 2011, including some needed increases, failed in the U.S. Senate yesterday. The education funding was part of an omnibus bill containing funds for many different government programs. The Senate could not muster the supermajority of 60 members needed to overcome procedural obstacles to the bill’s consideration. It now appears that the...

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Tax Compromise Passes, With Education Items Included

The compromise on tax policy passed by Congress this week has a couple of little-noted provisions affecting education that you should know about. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal described one of them: “Through 2011, teachers will still be able to file for up to $250 in deductions for classroom expenses related to books, supplies, computer equipment and other materials....

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Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids

An important update of federal child-nutrition law took effect this month, with unanimous support in the U.S. Senate and with bipartisan backing in the U.S. House. The legislation better connects eligible children with free school meals. The law also expands and improves breakfast programs. It helps make headway against childhood obesity and improves the nutritional value of meals by strengthening...

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U.S. Senate Vote Coming on Education Aid—Protect Your Students, Urge Support

Over the next week, Congress will decide funding levels for federal education aid to states and school districts. The legislative department at the American Federation of Teachers in Washington, D.C., says three options are being considered: (1) continue funding at current levels; (2) provide slight increases in an omnibus budget bill; or (3) provide a short-term extension into next year...

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Coming Up in Congress—A Vote on the DREAM Act

As early as Friday, Congress may vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure thousands of immigrant children who have grown up in the United States can get the post-secondary education they need to contribute to society.  Under the DREAM Act, qualified students who were brought to the United States before...

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Season’s Greetings: Unemployed Americans Left in the Lurch

At a time when more Americans remain unemployed, through no fault of their own, than in any era since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the U.S. Congress has made matters worse by allowing long-term unemployment benefits to run out. As of tomorrow, more than 800,000 unemployed workers will have their benefits cut off. Within months, the toll will rise...

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Call to Action: Turn Back Attack on Social Security

The co-chairs of a presidential advisory commission have recommended deep cuts in Social Security benefits as part of a federal deficit-reduction program, even though Social Security has played no part in creating the problem of the federal deficit. Their proposal would raise the retirement age over time to 69, cutting benefits for middle-class workers, and reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments. As...

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