Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bush Veto of Education funding

November 13, 2007

Bush's Veto Could Gut Critical School Programs

NEA urges lawmakers to stand their ground and defend adequate funding for public schools

WASHINGTON- President George W. Bush's veto of an education spending bill would wipe out 45 federal education programs and cripple others, leaving some of the neediest students without essential programs they need to succeed in school. The National Education Association called the threat a politically-motivated attack against children who have repeatedly been shortchanged by this administration and urged lawmakers to stand their ground.
"This administration wants to nickel-and-dime education, and if the president can't get his way he's threatening to completely pull the plug," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "Congress has done the right thing by keeping the interests of students, not the political interests of the president, front and center. Lawmakers must override the veto so schools get the basic resources they need."

The president's proposed budget is $4.5 billion less than what a strong bi-partisan majority in Congress has deemed necessary to invest in public schools. Nationally, he wants to eliminate 45 federal education programs. Others would be severely impacted, like the early childhood education program Head Start, which would be reduced by $300 million. That move would have a harsh impact on more than 30,000 preschool children.

His plan also would slash $800 million that Congress has allocated for special education for children with disabilities and eliminate half of the funding for career and technical education programs. Lawmakers want to maintain these programs, and give students and educators the resources they need, but the president has stubbornly refused to work with Congress.

Unfortunately, the veto threat continues a string of attacks by the administration on schools and students. Last month, the president vetoed the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a move that will leave millions of children without the medical attention they need to feel and do their best in school.

"Cutting these programs would literally leave millions of children behind," Weaver said. "Congress is in line with the country's priorities regarding education and children's health care. The president's veto just shows what we have known for years: this administration is not serious about education."

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
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