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Letter to the House urging support for increased domestic spending in the 2008 supplemental appropriations bill

June 19, 2008

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we strongly urge your support for 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 essential 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:

  • Delay pending Medicaid regulations that threaten the provision of school-based health care for low-income children and children with disabilities. School districts play a critical role as a site for healthcare delivery for students during the day. In fact, receiving medical services through school may be the only way some students get the services they need. Medicaid reimbursement helps school districts provide the highest quality services to students with special needs. Cutting Medicaid payments to schools would jeopardize the ability of students to receive needed school-based health care and could force students to remain at home rather than attending school. 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.

  • Extend unemployment insurance benefits. Extending unemployment benefits will provide an immediate boost for the economy and help struggling families get back on their feet.

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