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House Budget Plan Would Slash Funding for 31 Programs

Key formula programs would get huge increases, but big Obama administration priorities—including Race to the Top and i3—would get no money under a new spending plan for fiscal year 2012 released Sept. 29 by the U.S. House of Representatives panel that oversees K-12 funding.

The bill would eliminate funding for a number of the Obama administration's favored education initiatives, including:

Race to the Top competition, which got $700 million this fiscal year.

Investing in Innovation Fund, which got $150 million.

Promise Neighborhoods, which got $30 million.

School Improvement Grant program, which got $534 million.

But the proposal would include huge increases for key formula programs, according to an analysis by the Committee for Education Funding, a Washington lobbying coalition. It would boost Title I grants to districts for education disadvantaged kids by $1 billion, to nearly $16 billion. And it would increase special education funding by $1.2 billion, to $13.7 million

The plan would scrap a total of 31 education programs, according to the CEF analysis. Those programs, and the amounts they received this fiscal year, include:

School Leadership - $29.2 million

Arts in Education - $27.2 million

Advanced Placement - $43.3 million

Carol M. White Physical Education Program - $78.8 million

Ready to Learn Television - $27.2 million

Elementary and Secondary School Counseling - $52.4 million

Mathematics and Science Partnerships - $175 million

High School Graduation Initiative - $48.9 million

Teaching American History - $45.9 million

The measure would also trim the State Grants for Improving Teacher Quality, the main source of funding for class-size reduction, professional development, and similar programs. The program, which is now financed at $2.5 billion, would be cut by $24.7 million.

It's important to note that this bill hasn't actually passed out of committee. It's just been introduced and posted on the House Appropriations Committee's website.

The measure sets up a sharp contrast with a spending measure that passed the Senate Appropriations committee earlier this month, which provided funding for nearly all the programs axed under the House bill, including the Obama administration's priorities. But that measure did not include the huge increases for Title I and special education.

Fiscal year 2012 actually starts Oct. 1, but Congress has already passed a short-term extension measure keeping the government running. When the House returns next week, it's expected to consider another stop-gap bill that would keep the government open through the middle of November.

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