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Letter to the House in Support of the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

February 25, 2009

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge your support for the fiscal year 2009 omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1105), scheduled for floor consideration this week.  This bill provides critical resources that are essential for 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 111th Congress.

We are pleased that the omnibus bill:

  • Increases the federal share of special education costs by $558 million.  For more than 30 years the federal government has mandated that local school districts be responsible for educating special education students, regardless of cost.  This increase will help bring the federal government closer to fulfilling its promise to help states meet these costs. 
  • Increases funding for Title I by $648 million.  Title I funds are targeted to school districts serving the nation’s most vulnerable children to help increase their academic achievement. 
  • Increases the maximum Pell Grant by $119.  Pell Grants help the lowest income families afford a college education. 
  • Increases funding for Head Start to ensure that low-income children have access to high quality preschool services. 

Again, we urge your support for the FY09 omnibus appropriations bill. 


Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy