On Dec. 8, the House of Representatives approved a seven-bill omnibus appropriations package that would increase fiscal 2004 education spending by $2.6 billion (4.8 percent) over the fiscal 2003 level. The increase, which would bring funding for the U.S. Department of Education to $55.67 billion, is the smallest increase for education in eight years. In the Senate, Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) asked that the Senate consider a resolution reinstating several provisions and striking the 0.59 percent across-the-board cut to education, Head Start, and other programs. However, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) objected. As a result, a final vote on the omnibus bill was put off until January 21, but education-spending totals in the conference agreement are not likely to change.
Categories:Education and the Economy