By a vote of 235-189 the House passed their version of the spending plan for the balance of the fiscal year. Their proposal cuts education by 16% or $11.5 billion. Sixty programs are proposed to be eliminated; including many literacy programs such as Striving Readers, RIF, National Writing Project, regional education labs, and others. Title I is proposed to take a cut of $693 million, School Improvement Grants $336 million, Head Start a cut of $1 billion and many others.
The week of February 21st the Congress is home for the President’s Day District Work Period. This means that many Senators will be working in their home offices. This is important because it is an opportunity to meet with them and talk with them about the literacy needs of your communities. To contact your Senator (and to find out the correct spelling of their names) go to:
Striving Readers was passed as part of the FY 2010 appropriations process, during the past year 44 states have developed literacy plans for children aged 0 to grade 12. Now the proposal would cut spending for the balance of the year (a rescission) and for next school year. Striving Readers would provide funds for professional development activities in high-need schools to improve reading and writing instruction.
The Senate now has to make the following set of decisions. How much should the spending level be for the annually appropriated part of the government? Then how much should be allocated to the various areas (ours is Labor/Health and Human Services/Education) AND then how much to spend on specific programs.
It is really important that the Senators be made aware of the impact of the proposed House cuts.
To repeat myself, it is really important that Senators learn of the impact of these potential cuts.