Letter to the Budget Committee on FY 2008 congressional budget resolution (House)
March 20, 2007
On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our views on the FY 2008 congressional budget resolution. Specifically, we urge you to provide for an increase of at least $14 billion to fund critical education programs. Actions in committee on these issues may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.
NEA believes that the budget resolution should reflect the priorities of our nation, and that ensuring all of our children a quality education should be a top priority. A strong public education system is critical to the future strength and economic well-being of our nation, and our failure to make sufficient investments in education today will have negative repercussions for our country in the future. Unfortunately, too many of our students are not receiving the tools and help they need to succeed. Additional investments in proven programs such as Title I and IDEA special education as well as higher education programs such as Pell Grants are essential if we are to close achievement gaps and maximize the academic potential of every student.
In crafting the budget resolution, Congress has an important opportunity to give public schools and the students they serve the priority they deserve. To achieve this goal, we urge you to reject the Administration's budget proposal, which would cut overall education funding by $1.5 billion (-2.6%), including a 50 percent cut in funding for career and technical education. Instead, we strongly urge you to include an increase of at least $14 billion for education in the FY08 budget resolution. Such an increase would allow restoration of the significant cuts sustained by key education programs in FY06 and provide for essential and long overdue increases in these programs. While some of these cuts were restored in the FY07 continuing resolution, funding for critical programs remains far below the need.
We also urge opposition to the Administration's proposed elimination of over 40 education programs such as dropout prevention, school counseling, education technology, civics education, and gifted and talented education. Each of these programs plays an essential role in maximizing achievement and ensuring a well-rounded citizenry. For example, the Civics Education program helps students achieve a greater understanding of politics and government at the local, intermediate, and national levels and a deeper knowledge of how to participate effectively in the political process.
A summary of key education programs in need of increased funding is attached . We thank you for your consideration of our views and we look forward to working with you to craft a budget that makes children and families a priority and helps ensure great public schools for every child.
Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations
Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy