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UPDATED: Senate Passes Slimmed-Down Stimulus


The U.S. Senate approved its "lite" version of a federal infusion of cash for education today by a vote of 61-37, with just three Republicans crossing the aisle to support an $838 billion economic stimulus measure that would provide some $80 billion for education programs.

That's less than the $140 billion for education in the $819 billion House stimulus measure, but still a sizable chunk of change, considering the Senate bill would have more money for education than the U.S. Department of Education's entire $59.2 billion discretionary budget.

The Senate's original bill contained about the same amount of education spending as the House legislation. But $16 billion was eliminated in grants for school construction, and direct aid to states for education was reduced, all as part of a compromise worked out by moderate lawmakers.

More details available in this story.

Update: Sounds like the positioning has already begun for conference and supporters of the billions in school construction funds are trying to get it back. The House version still includes $14 billion in school construction grants.

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, just released this statement:

“While I am glad the Senate has now joined the House in passing legislation to get our economy moving forward again, it appears the Senate bill creates about 400,000 fewer jobs than the House legislation. With more Americans losing their jobs by the day, we must make every effort to bring that figure up.

“As President Obama has said, one way we can do that is by restoring investments to modernize our nation’s schools and colleges. The $14 billion to repair, renovate and update public schools included in the House plan would create at least 315,000 more jobs than what the Senate bill generates. Modernizing our schools and colleges is a common-sense way we can quickly create jobs while helping our students get a 21st century education, and should get restored to this plan as negotiations move forward.”

Sounds pretty on-message, considering President Barack Obama's plug for school construction in last night's prime-time press conference, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's school visit today, in which he made a pitch for school construction.

Could be an uphill battle though. Republicans, and some moderate Democrats, have long argued that school construction is a state and local responsibility. They're worried that including money for the program in the stimulus bill could set a dangerous precedent.


Group: Tie Education Funding To Corporal Punishment Ban
.The stimulus package winding through Congress has lots of money for education. Reports indicate that most funds would go to economically depressed districts struggling to meet desired education outcomes.

Are lawmakers throwing money at education programs using worn out, unsupported practices like corporal punishment? Probably so, and they could do something about it. They could tie education funding to ending practices like corporal punishment.

Twenty-one states still allow educators to hit children with boards as punishment for breaking school rules. It’s an antiquated and barbaric practice that sometimes leads to injuries requiring medical care and hospitalization. It is not supported by research and has been condemned by more than 50 national child/family-serving professional organizations like the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Education Association, the American Bar Association and the American Psychological Association.

More than a quarter of a million school children are paddled annually according to the U.S. Department of Education in its latest survey. Children paddled most frequently are poor, minorities, children with disabilities and boys.

Where is most of the paddling done? The paddle swings most often in states with poor education outcomes – low achievement levels, high dropout rates, and poor graduation rates. These are the education programs which are most likely to see increased funding to help them improve education outcomes.

Every education program imposes conditions on how schools use money. The government prohibits physical punishment to train animals under the Animal Welfare Act, the Horse Protection Act and other laws. Don’t school children deserve protection from being hit with boards?

Tying corporal punishment bans to federal funding would end the practice.

Nadine Block, Executive Director of the Center for Effective Discipline and co-chair of EPOCH-USA

155 W. Main Street #1603, Columbus, OH 43215

(614) 221-8829 [email protected]

www.stophitting.org corporal punishment laws, status of use, effects, and alternatives

I've stated here before. I am pro-education. But I cannot in good conscience support something that has been proven over and over (here and abroad) to be a FAILURE.

The government grows programs... the programs expand to fill the larger void.. what congressman or senator will then CUT funding down the road?

How soon will the money be spent? As educators, one would think you, most of all, would be all over the long-term effects of this.

I am PRO modernizing. Trust me. I think our education system nationwide sucks. But at the expense of collapsing our way of life, I have to shout it from the mountain - NO NO NO.

We NEED to send letters and make it known that Money to help the economy is not a waste but a NEED. Education has been the lowest thing in this Countries Agenda since it started. We NEED to back Obama and put the screws on the Fat Cats in Washington whom never went to public school. People WAKE-UP this is our time to Help Fix Our Problem. Get all the people you know and communicate with to jump in and speak out loud before its to LATE.
Paul Schmidt

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