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Arne Duncan Is on the Hill Talking Budget


Today, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is headlining a day's worth of hearings on the U.S. Department of Education's fiscal 2010 budget.

In fact, listen to Duncan now in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Later, he'll testify before the House equivalent.

Politics K-12's Alyson Klein will monitor these hearings all day, and will be updating folks here.


In his opening comments, Appropriations subcommittee chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) took the opportunity to call the removal of most funds for school construction and modernization from the final version of the ARRA stimulus bill a "grave mistake" -- one he seeks to remedy with his School Building Fairness Act of 2009:


An aide to Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) says that Kennedy will be a co-sponsor.

Earlier, the House passed a similar bill:


Interestingly, Harkin told the subcommittee hearing and Secretary Duncan that he intends to pursue the $6+ billion in funding for 'green' school renovation and construction as part of the 2010 appropriations, rather than waiting for ESEA reauthorization.

That's smart legislating, Senator Harkin.

Wow! Sec. Duncan strongly suggests use of stimulus IDEA funds, in part, to "train all teachers" in being able to work with special needs students.

Ugh! Sen. Harkin says he wants an 11-month school year. Sec. Duncan responds "Twelve"!

I thought they wanted to REDUCE the dropout rate!

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