Letter to the House of Representatives about supporting the concurrent Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolution
May 21, 2008
On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge your support for the concurrent Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolution. We believe this Budget offers a critical downpayment toward meeting the needs of underfunded programs and fulfilling every child's basic right to a great public school. Votes associated with these issues may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.
We are pleased that the Budget agreement:
Provides $8.4 billion above the President's request for Function 500, and includes significant increases for education programs to help students from early childhood through post-secondary education. In doing so, the agreement rejects the President's proposed cuts to Function 500, including the plan to eliminate scores of critical education programs. Instead, the Budget will provide critical resources to proven programs such as Title I, services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Head Start, and Pell Grants.
Rejects the President's priority requests for new private school voucher program as well as rejecting Senate-proposed assumption for tripling the merit pay Teacher Incentive Fund.
Rejects the President's cuts to the student loan programs, and includes reserve funds to accommodate legislative changes that make college more affordable. These reserve funds will provide the House and Senate Education Committees maximum flexibility in finding offsets to any new spending as they complete reauthorization of Higher Education Act.
Repeats last year's inclusion of a reserve intended to protect children currently covered by the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and to serve more of those eligible .
References a tax credit for school construction bonds as a possible use for a deficit-neutral reserve fund for middle-income tax relief and economic equity as well as in a policy statement on middle-income tax relief.
Again, we urge your support for the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolution.
Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations
Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy