AVA Efforts Improve Federal Outlook for Voc Ed

Article excerpt

Campaign politics will fill our newspapers, television programs and conversations for much of the next few months. At every turn, we will hear of the latest controversies and witness fascinating (and sometimes irritating) political jousting. Media attention will focus on issues as well as intrigue. The November elections will have an impact on our lives both before and after they actually happen.

For example, Congressional action in the waning weeks of the legislative session will be determined largely by campaign politics. Legislators must finish the appropriations bills before they go home to campaign in early October. These bills provide funds for federal programs, including vocational and adult education, school-to-work and job training for FY1997. Voters will be sure to notice if this work is not completed, so it is the top priority for Congress. At this point, it appears that funding for vocational education and related programs will be maintained at about the same levels as in FY 1996.

Whether vocational education block grant legislation will pass before Congress adjourns also depends largely on election politics. Legislators will do all they can to draw media attention to Congressional actions, which may mean that the focus will remain on more sensational domestic issues and matters concerning international and military activities. Thus, finding time to complete work on vocational education block grants may be difficult. And opposition from many conservative groups may discourage Republicans from supporting the bill's passage. …

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