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Summary from 2006 initial budget documents:
The administration is requesting $56 billion for the Department of Education, a reduction of a half billion dollars, or 0.9 percent, from the current spending plan -- which would be the first cut in overall federal education spending in a decade.

The budget would eliminate the Perkins loan program, which provides low-interest loans to low- and middle-income college students. The budget also would end Perkins loan forgiveness for members of the armed services and Peace Corps volunteers. The budget would redirect those savings to increase spending on Pell Grants, which provide college grants to low-income students and raise the maximum award $100 to $4,150 -- the first of five annual Pell increases planned by the White House.

In all, 48 education programs would be terminated, including those providing college-readiness training to low-income high school students and federal vocational education initiatives that the White House said are not performing well or duplicate other federal efforts.

Some of the savings would be used to increase spending in several programs, including $1.5 billion to extend federal No Child Left Behind testing and accountability requirements into the nation's high schools. The federal Title I program for poor children would increase by 4.7 percent, or $603 million, to $13.3 billion, and funding for disabled students would increase $508 million to $11.1 billion.
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So they are "cutting" the budget for the department by 0.9%.  Cutting in Washington means "cutting from what I thought I was going to get", rather than cutting from a base spending level.  And this is an initial document that starts the process off for the 2006 budget--not the final document.  I just don't have the time, but hasn't the real increase year to year for Dept of Education been pretty big increases--I mean real year to year increases.

I think we'd better wait and see what happens, unless of course you're in the government and need to fight for the head start program.

However, my overall impression is that our educational results in the country have been degrading over the last 20 years.  This may be a time to look at new and innovative solutions, rather than just throwing good money after bad, into systems that are entrenched teaching beaurocracies.  I'd like to see some new experimental schooling programs, analyze the results of some pilots, and maybe make some changes based on the results.  It seems to me that the Bush/Kennedy program of at least trying to hold schools accountable for their results seems logical, under the circumstances.  But i'm no expert in this area.  You mention "but when the results come in and implementation does not change", and specifically talk about education.  Yet the government is trying to change education--throwing more money at it over the last 5 years, and recommending accountability and new approaches.  Seems like this should fit with your thinking--ie. they're doing the right thing, reacting to systems that are failing and changing them.

by wchurchill on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 04:26:51 AM EST
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