Bush, Obey Diverge on NCLB Policy and Spending
The number of ironies in the NCLB debate never ceases to amaze me. The latest comes in the fight over education spending.
On one side, there's President Bush. He's been praising NCLB in speech after speech after speech. He proposed a $1.1 billion increase for law's Title I. You'd think that he'd be happy if Congress lavished more money on his favorite program. Think again. He's says the money he proposed is enough. The $1.5 billion increase Congress would give Title I is too much, the White House says in this statement threatening to veto an appropriations bill with education spending.
On the other side, there's Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. In a hearing this spring, he showed his contempt for the NCLB, saying the law puts too many mandates on states. You'd think he wouldn't want to put new money into the law. Think again. He's committed to increasing federal education funding across the board.
The unusual alliances started when President Bush formed a bond with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., to get the bill passed. They continue today in this funding fight. And new ones are sure to form when Congress gets serious about reauthorizing the law.