WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress has approved a spending bill that would mostly maintain level funding for federal education programs in 2010, according to an Education Week report, though certain individual programs would get funding boosts.

Base funding for U.S. Department of Education programs would stand at $63.7 billion, a 2 percent increase over 2009, but slightly less than the Obama administration requested, the report said. That figure does not include federal stimulus money for schools, which is being paid out over fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

Funding for Title I grants for the education of disadvantaged students will remain steady in 2010, Education Week reported. Lawmakers rejected a proposal to shift some of that money to schools that are struggling to meet No Child Left Behind standards. Money for special education programs also will remain level, the report said.

However, funding for the "Striving Readers" literacy program would increase to match plans to expand the program from secondary to elementary grades, and funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which offers grants for performance-pay programs, would increase from $97 million to $400 million, Education Week reported. Charter public school programs would receive $256 million, up by $40 million.

Teacher unions have asked that education jobs be included in any new jobs package launched by the administration, Education Week reported.

SOURCE:
Education Week, "Congress OKs budget with increase for education," Dec. 15, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Are Schools Underfunded?" Nov. 23, 2009

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