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Ed-Insider November 7, 2003
A weekly review of progress on the Quality Public Schools Agenda and other legislation that impacts our students, classrooms, and public education.November 7, 2003
The Clock Ticks On
November 21 is the target date for Congress to adjourn. But will they or won't they? And on what will Congress vote before going home until January 2004?
The Watch List
- Vouchers - Down to the Wire
The Administration continues to press for the first federally funded private school voucher program. Their strategy: attach a District of Columbia voucher program to a "must pass" bill. NEA strategy: Remove this onerous provision!
Tell Congress: Don't allow an end-run on a voucher plan that can not pass on its own.
- Education Funding - NEA wins sweeping votes of support
Negotiations on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations (spending) bill continue, more than a month into the fiscal year that began October 1. NEA - working for key dollar increases - won sweeping votes of support in the House the week.
- By a vote of 310 to 101, the House instructed its negotiators to insist on the higher funding levels for special education (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), included in the Senate bill, but not the original House bill.
- The House earlier instructed its negotiators to secure the highest possible funding levels for ESEA/'No Child Left Behind'. The original House and Senate bills (H.R.2660, S.1356) shortchange schools.Tell Congress: Support the Senate-approved funding for IDEA and the highest possible funding levels for ESEA/No Child Left Behind. State and local taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize funding shortfalls.
- Social Security Offsets
H.R. 743 - NOTE! - With encouragement from NEA, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson has put a 'hold' on Senate action until she can amend and improve the Sec. 418 language that affects school employees who move to a Social Security district immediately before retiring.
Tell the Senate: Repeal these unfair offsets! Support for repeal continues to grow. The House repeal bill (H.R. 594) now has 277 sponsors; the Senate bill (S. 349), 29. New: Senator Bill Nelson (FL).
- Common Sense and Public Safety
Educators across the country are deeply concerned about the impact of gun crime on children, families and communities.
Tell the Senate: Our children, our families, and our communities need sensible legislation that protects them, while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners. The assault weapons ban (S. 1034) and gun show 'instant checks' (S. 1807) do this. Insist upon them. Accept nothing less.
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