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Letter to the House of Representatives supporting the proposed Continuing Resolution for FY 2007

January 30, 2007

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to urge your support for the proposed Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund programs for the duration of fiscal year 2007. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress. 

We are very pleased that the proposed CR would provide an increase of $1 billion for education programs, an important first step in restoring cuts enacted by the previous Congress and in providing the resources necessary to fulfill every child's right to a great public school. We are particularly pleased that the proposed CR would:

  • Raise the maximum Pell Grant award from $4,050 to $4,310. This increase, the first in four years, recognizes the essential role of the Pell Grant program in improving access to higher education and as a critical component in comprehensive efforts to address college affordability.

  • Increase Title I funding by $125 million, bringing total funding from $12.7 to $12.8 billion. The proposed increase would reverse the decline in Title I funding in effect since 2005 and would allow additional reading and math services for some 38,000 eligible children. We also strongly support the proposed $125 million for the Title I School Improvement Fund. These funds would be targeted to the 6,700 schools designated as "failing" under NCLB, thereby allowing them to implement professional development initiatives, tutoring programs, and other improvements designed to raise student achievement. 

  • Increase special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by $200 million, bringing total funding from $10.6 to $10.8 billion.

The proposed CR will lay the foundation for necessary increases in FY08.  In particular, the proposed increases for FY07 will still fall far short of restoring the $1 billion cut from programs under No Child Left Behind in FY06, and will actually reduce the federal share of IDEA special education funding from 17.9 to 17.4 percent — a far cry from the federal government's promised 40 percent share. We hope Congress will address these shortfalls as you craft a budget resolution and appropriations legislation for FY08. 

Again, we urge your support for the proposed CR and look forward to working with you in the coming months to ensure every child the resources and support necessary to succeed.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Policy and Politics