Magazine article Techniques

Education Bill Is Early Priority for New President

Magazine article Techniques

Education Bill Is Early Priority for New President

Article excerpt

Getting off to a quick start, President Bush announced that legislation regarding elementary and secondary education is among his first priorities. He has outlined plans that include block grants and vouchers, issues that are bitterly divisive among Democrats and Republicans. Details of the Bush proposal are expected to be released in conjunction with his budget proposals for fiscal year 2002.

This early push by the President has sparked a rush of activity in Congress, resulting in the introduction of a number of bills that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ACTE is working with congressional staff and the administration to ensure that this reauthorization supports and coordinates with the Perkins Act to bolster career exploration, career guidance and counseling, and career and technical education programs in middle and secondary schools. Further, we are working to ensure that provisions in the law support the seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary career and technical education programs, as well as assist students who choose to enter the workforce immediately upon completion of high school.

By early February, the following legislation had been introduced:

S. 7, the Educational Excellence for All Learners Act of 2001, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-SD). This bill is a comprehensive reauthorization proposal put forth by the Senate Democrats. It includes provisions to increase accountability for schools in ensuring academic achievement, expand Title I support for low-income students, support full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as well Pell Grants for low-income postsecondary students and assist in ensuring that qualified teachers and principals are in every school. Further, it echoes the Democrats' priorities under the Clinton administration, including school construction and class size reduction.

S. 167, Academic Achievement for All Act (Straight A's), introduced by Sen. Bill Frist (RTN). This block grant proposal has been introduced several times in the past several years. Each time, the Perkins Act is included in early versions, and ACTE must work to get our programs out. …

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