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Miller on the Stimulus

As the House of Representatives debated the $825 billion stimulus measure, which members are expected to vote on tonight, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, held a conference call with reporters to talk about the money for education in the stimulus package.

Republicans, including the Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon of California, the top GOP member of the House education panel, have expressed concern that it might be tough to take programs like Title I and spending for students in special education back down to their current levels after the record increases in the stimulus.

Miller didn't say a permanent funding increase absolutely wouldn't happen. Instead he deferred to the Obama administration.

"The administration is telling us not to anticipate that this [increased amount] will be the baseline," he said.

And he told us that those ed-reformy programmatic choices—including a $200 million boost for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which doles out grants for performance pay, $250 million for state data systems, and a $25 million fund for charter school facilities—were sought by the Obama administration.

Those provisions didn't make it into the Senate bill, a development Mike Petrilli over at Flypaper bemoaned yesterday.

But Miller seems to think they'll stay in through conference.

"These are the priorities of President Obama," Rep. Miller said. "I believe they'll make it through and I hope they'll make it through.

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