Part of the Bay Area News Group

Lee touts extra spending on education, jobs

By Josh Richman
Friday, June 8th, 2007 at 4:53 pm in Barbara Lee, General, U.S. House.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, points to this week’s markup by her Appropriations subcommitee of the $153.7 billion Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill as a triumph for progressives — and for her, in particular.

This is Lee’s first year on the powerful purse-strings panel — and in the majority, for that matter — and so she has had more of a say than ever before on how federal tax dollars are spent. She’s hailing the panel’s increases in funds for education, job training and violence prevention — which she said she championed — as “an investment in our future, and I am particularly proud of our successful efforts to increase funds for programs that keep kids safe and give them real alternatives to violence.”

For example, she notes, the bill provides $61.7 billion for education — $4.2 billion (7.4 %) above the current budget year — including:

  • Pell Grants: $2.0 billion (14.6 %) above 2007, the largest single increase in the bill, raising the maximum Pell grant by $390 to $4,700 and benefiting more than 5.5 million students without reducing or eliminating other student financial assistance programs, as the Administration had proposed.
  • No Child Left Behind: $2.0 billion (8.4 %) above 2007, including $1.9 billion more for Title I grants benefiting nearly 55,000 schools and fully funding reading and math instruction for an additional 161,000 low-income students, plus significant increases for teacher quality programs and after-school centers.
  • The committee also added $200 million (200 %) above the president’s 2008 proposal for safe and drug-free schools; $125 million (12.7 %) for after-school centers; $100 million (11.9 %) for youth job training; $98 million (6.3 %) for Jobcorps; and $11.4 million (4.8 %) for historically black colleges, among other things. It also proposed almost $49 million for mentoring programs and $61.5 million for school counselors, where the president had proposed spending nothing.

    Remember, though — this is only the subcommittee’s markup. This bill has yet to pass the House, be reconciled with the Senate’s plan, and be signed by the president.

    [You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]