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Letter to the Senate on the FY07 Continuing Resolution

February 06, 2007

Dear Senator:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge the Senate to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the duration of fiscal year 2007 that provides the increases for education funding included in the House-passed version. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress. 

NEA supported the House-passed CR as 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 were particularly pleased that the House CR:

  • Provides an increase of $1 billion for education programs;

  • Raises 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.

  • Increases 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. 

  • Provides $125 million for the Title I School Improvement Fund.  These funds would be targeted to schools with the greatest needs, thereby allowing them to implement professional development initiatives, tutoring programs, and other improvements designed to raise student achievement. 

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

We urge the Senate to pass a CR that includes all of the above-outlined increases. 

The House-passed CR will lay the foundation for necessary increases in FY08.  In particular, the increases for FY07 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 a CR that matches the critical education funding increases included in the House version. We 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