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SUPERINTENDENTS WEIGH IN: House Appropriations Subcommittee Hears from School Superintendents on President Obama’s Budget Request

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“simply because [they] often lack the capacity to write competitive grant applications.”

On March 27, the House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Appropriations Subcommittee held another hearing on the president’s Fiscal Year 2013 K–12 education budget that featured school superintendents from around the country who addressed the formula funding versus competitive funding debate, asked for increased federal spending on education, and called on Congress to revamp the No Child Left Behind Act.

During the hearing, Dr. Gwile Freeman, superintendent of the Catahoula Parish School District (Louisiana), noted that formula funding gives rural and small school the ability to utilize resources in a way that competitive grants cannot, “simply because [they] often lack the capacity to write competitive grant applications.” At the same time, however, Freeman acknowledged that Louisiana was one of six states to receive a Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, which will help the state respond to the unique needs of struggling readers and writers in local school districts.

Additional witnesses were Dr. Tim Mitchell, superintendent of Rapid City Area Schools (South Dakota), who focused on special education and the needs of rural schools and Ron Seaver, superintendent of Central Union Elementary School District (California), who discussed the importance of the Impact Aid program. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland), also testified about how his district has used an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to implement new curriculum in elementary grades that integrates all subject areas and helps students develop the critical academic and thinking skills necessary in today’s economy.

Complete witness testimony from the hearing is available at http://appropriations.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=281200.

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