Magazine article Techniques

Slowdown and Delays on Capitol Hill. (Capitol View)

Magazine article Techniques

Slowdown and Delays on Capitol Hill. (Capitol View)

Article excerpt

The events of September 11 and their aftermath have affected us in countless ways; among them are slowing progress on education legislation in Congress and reducing revenues available in states. Congress and the administration clearly are playing a central role in rebuilding the nation this fall and in securing peace for the future. Therefore, many other issues that were on the table here in the nation's capital have, at least for now, taken a back seat. The following is a brief review of where we are with regard to issues before Congress as well as overall state revenue projections.

Fiscal Year 2002 Appropriations: With the House and Senate having approved bills that have between $6.3 billion and $7.0 billion in increased funding for education, one would think that education is in an excellent position with regard to federal funding for the next fiscal year. However, negotiations between the two chambers have been stymied due to the incomplete status of a major elementary and secondary education overhaul (see below). Funding decisions for many programs hinge on the outcome of this education bill. Conversely, one of the key questions that is unresolved in the education bill is how much money will be available for programs. One unnamed congressional staffer captured the scene succinctly by stating to Education Daily that the bills are holding each other hostage. Hanging in the balance is a potential increase of $150 million for the Perkins Basic State Grants, which was approved by the House. With the Senate not approving an increase in its bill, it is tough to say whether the full House level will be included in the final legislation.

ESEA Reauthorization: The process to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been a laborious one. Late in the summer, much attention was given to this initiative, with both the president and the Congress listing it among the highest priority bills for the remainder of the congressional session. …

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