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Federal Legislative Update March 2009

March 27, 2009
March 20, 2009
March 13, 2009
March 9, 2009

 

3/27/2009


KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK: Continue to urge Congress to craft a “Budget Resolution” that reflects the importance of education to our nation

Congress continues work on the Congressional Budget Resolution for fiscal year 2010 (which begins October 1, 2009). This week, both the House and Senate Budget Committees approved proposals that will go to the full House and Senate the week of March 30. 

NEA believes the budget should:

  • Reflect education as a top national priority;
  • Build on the historic increases for education included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), with additional funding for Title I and IDEA/special education;
  • Help more students attend and complete college by increasing the maximum Pell Grants awards
  • Make significant investments in career and technical education, afterschool programs and education technology, after years of insufficient funding;
  • Support efforts to reform health care so that everyone has access to quality, affordable and comprehensive coverage 

NEA has also asked Congress for specific funding increases for key education programs. 

Contact your Members of Congress
Urge Members of Congress to support a Budget Resolution that reflects the importance of education to our nation. 

 

3/20/2009

News from Capitol Hill. . .


Urge Congress to craft a “Budget Resolution” that reflects the importance of education to strengthening the economy

Congress is beginning work on the Congressional Budget Resolution for fiscal year 2010 (which begins October 1, 2009).  The Budget Resolution is a broad blueprint for how federal dollars will be spent.  Later this year, Congress will work on a spending bill that uses this blueprint to give funding to specific programs.

President Obama released an outline of his budget proposal last month.  He is expected to provide more specific details on his proposal in late April or early May.  Congress will likely use the President’s outline as a guideline in putting together the Congressional Budget Resolution.

NEA believes the budget should:

  • Build on the historic increases for education included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), particularly for Title I and IDEA/special education;

  • Support the Administration’s plan to create more opportunities for students to attend college;

  • Reflect support for education needs that have been neglected in past years, such as Perkins Career and Technical Education, education technology, and after school programs.

  • Support the Administration’s commitment to reform health care that provides access to quality, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage for all residents of the United States.

Contact your Members of Congress

Urge Members of Congress to craft a Budget Resolution that reflects the importance of education to our nation.

3/13/2009

News from Capitol Hill. . .

YOU DID IT: Congress Rejects Funding for DC Voucher Program

Your e-mails have once again scored a victory for public education. This week, the Senate defeated an NEA-opposed amendment to extend funding for the District of Columbia pilot voucher program. 

Defeat of this voucher amendment was a major victory for NEA that could not have been achieved without your help

While NEA has successfully fought voucher proposals in the past, support for the DC program has been strong among some Members of Congress and ending the pilot program has been an uphill battle.

 In fact, last year, Congress extended the program for one additional year beyond its original expiration date. 

Your e-mails in opposition to the amendment made the difference

The final vote of 38-59, including four Republicans (Senators Crapo (ID), Murkowski (AK), Snowe (ME), and Specter (PA)) who voted against the amendment, sent a strong message that vouchers do not help improve student achievement and that resources would be better focused on real reform — putting a qualified teacher in every classroom, keeping their skills up to date with continuing education, and raising pay to attract and retain the best teachers.

Urge Congress to Support Union Rights

This week, the Employee Free Choice Act was introduced in both the House and Senate. This important legislation would protect the right of workers to choose a union by giving them a path to form unions through majority sign-up. 

It would also help employees secure a contract with their employer in a reasonable period of time, and toughen penalties against employers who violate their workers’ rights.

Contact your Members of Congress

Urge Members of Congress to support the Employee Free Choice Act.

3/9/2009

News from Capitol Hill. . .

SPECIAL ALERT: Tell the Senate to Pass Education Funding Bill Without Private School Vouchers


The Senate is finishing up work this week on a bill to fund education and other programs for the rest of the current fiscal year. Under discussion is whether to extend a pilot voucher program in the District of Columbia. This pilot program, which has shown NO evidence of positive impact on student achievement, was scheduled to expire last year and has already been extended one additional year.

Vouchers are the wrong choice for our students. All children deserve great public schools. Private school vouchers leave too many children behind. We must—and can—strengthen the neighborhood public schools we already have.

Contact your Senators!

Tell Members of the Senate to pass the FY09 omnibus appropriations bill without any additional funding for DC vouchers.