|HSLDA News||April 9, 2001|
President Bush Releases Budget
WASHINGTON D.C."Our position is clear," said HSLDA's Doug Domenech, Executive Director of the National Center for Home Education, "there is simply no constitutional authority for the federal government to spend money on education. The problem is that there are not enough members of the the House and Senate that share our view."
According to Congressional Quarterly, President Bush's $1.96 trillion budget for fiscal 2002 would hold discretionary spending to a 4 percent increase overall despite intense pressure in the Senate for more spending. Those increases would be offset by reductions in other areas, including environmental and natural resources programs, agriculture and transportation. Vice President Dick Cheney warned this weekend that Bush would not hesitate to veto appropriations bills exceeding his 4 percent target. But in a series of votes on the fiscal 2002 budget resolution (H Con Res 83), the Senate added billions for higher spending. Senators trimmed Bush's proposed $1.6 trillion, 10-year tax cut to $1.18 trillion to make room for the extra spending and more debt reduction. Bush reiterated his pledge today to rid the budget of one-time expenses and members' projects. "Washington is known for pork. This budget funds our needs without the fat," Bush told reporters.
President Bush proposed an 11.5 percent increase in the eduction budget, to $44.5 billion in fiscal 2002, reflecting his campaign promise to make education a priority and to hold schools accountable for student progress. Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, the Vice President said the administration wants to reallocate money from programs with a minor impact. "We've gone in and tried to peel out the ineffective programs and fund the ones that we think will work," he said. Of the increase in education funds, about one-fifth will go to the nation's poorest students through the Title I program. Bush's proposed Reading First initiative would receive $900 million to help states set up reading programs for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Another Bush priority, student reading and math assessments, would receive $320 million to help states develop new tests. The budget proposes $2.6 billion, an increase of $400 million, for teacher training programs.
HSLDA is currently lobbying for changes to S.1 and H.R. 1, the Bush education plan.
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The White House has established an internet site that allows citizens to see the impact of their proposed budget on a state-by-state basis.