National Writing Project

Congress Cuts Funding for NWP, Other Education Programs

Date: March 4, 2011

Summary: More than a dozen education programs—including high-profile efforts focused on literacy, teaching, and learning such as the NWP—are looking at the prospect of a permanent federal funding loss after they were chopped from a stopgap spending measure signed into law by President Barack Obama.


Excerpt from Article

Support for two private nonprofit literacy programs whose federal aid had been slated for consolidation into the fund—Reading Is Fundamental, a book-distribution and reading-motivation program, financed at nearly $25 million, and the National Writing Project, a professional-development program aimed at improving writing instruction—was also axed.

Lawmakers considered both programs and at least 10 others "earmarks," or congressionally directed spending, which Congress has pledged not to fund in the current budget year.

Ms. Frost said the administration's consolidation proposal may have resulted in the targeting of the literacy programs: "Consolidation can be easily ticked off as a potential cut. ... When you block-grant something, you lose the constituency, because no one will say what this block grant is going to do."

Secretary Duncan said at a March 3 breakfast with bloggers that he hoped the funding could be restored at some point, and that he didn't consider the cuts in the two-week patch to be the final word on those programs.

But that hope may be a long shot, given GOP lawmakers' push to slim down the federal government.

Read the Full Article

Read "Congress Chops Funding for High-Profile Education Programs" in Education Week.

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