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Letter to the House of Representatives asking for support of the domestic spending provisions in the 2008 supplemental appropriations bill

June 06, 2008

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we ask for your support of the domestic spending provisions in the 2008 supplemental appropriations bill. While we know that there has been extensive debate and concern about budgetary issues, several education-related provisions are critical and cannot be delayed further. Votes associated with this legislation may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.

Specifically, we strongly support provisions that would:

  • Extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. This program expired at the end of 2006 and was extended for a year by the 2007 emergency supplemental appropriations bill. Failure to extend the program before the end of this month will have a devastating effect on students and educators in 4,400 rural school districts in 42 states, as school districts will have to lay off staff and eliminate programs.
  • Delay pending Medicaid regulations that threaten the provision of school-based health care for low-income children and children with disabilities. More than half the states are contemplating cuts in critical services, including health care and education. The deteriorating economy and consequent drop in revenues leaves them no choice - by law, the states must balance their budgets. Congress must recognize the serious impact these Medicaid regulations would have on the states and provide much-needed relief.
  • Expand education benefits for veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans of these conflicts deserve the same respect as veterans of World War II. Expanded education benefits are an appropriate way to recognize their service and equip them to succeed as they re-enter civilian society.

We thank you for your attention to these important issues and hope we can count on your support.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy