|Back to Aug. Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 163||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||AUGUST 1999|
At its annual July convention, the NEA claimed credit for the federal government's FY 99 education appropriation, which increased funding for public education by $3.6 billion, or 12%. The NEA cited the $1.2 billion class-size-reduction funding to begin hiring President Clinton's 100,000 new teachers, and the increased funding for IDEA, Title I, Head Start, and the Safe Schools Initiative, as hallmarks of the FY 99 education budget.
The NEA opposes the FY 2000 budget, however, because it "reduces overall domestic spending and cuts spending for education and related programs by $200 million from current year levels." The union pledges to fight any education spending cuts and will push for "an overall increase of 15% or $5 billion for Department of Education programs."
The NEA claimed that the 1998 elections "affirmed [voters'] strong support for maintaining the federal role in public education," and took credit for the "critical victories" of many NEA-backed candidates. (At this year's convention alone, NEA's PAC raised $797,000, an average of $83 per delegate.)
The NEA's Legislative Agenda
The union will oppose any ESEA reauthorization proposals that include vouchers, which the union labels "a threat to quality public schools." NEA also opposes Title I "portability," which would allow Title I funds to follow individual children to whatever schools they attend, including private schools. The NEA further opposes "super Ed-Flex," a plan that would allow states to combine Title I and other ESEA programs into block grants.
The NEA's Lobbying Goals: