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Campaigns seek to stop proposed budget cuts

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Local legislators and education advocates are forming campaigns to stress the value of a number of education programs in response to President Bush’s budget proposal to eliminate as many as 48 such programs, including Upward Bound, Talent Search, and GEAR UP.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships held a joint news conference in February defending the effectiveness of GEAR UP, a federal initiative drafted by Fattah.

Carol Fixman, executive director of the Philadelphia Education Fund, said that at local, regional and national gatherings, education organizations – from TRIO college access programs to the American Council on Education – are discussing ways in which to make sure the public and elected officials understand "how valuable these programs have been."

Bush’s $2.57 trillion budget – which the nation’s education secretary said takes aim at "ineffective" and "duplicate" programs (see Bush wants to expand NCLB in high schools) – calls for the total elimination of funds for vocational education and arts education. It also cuts away at federal funding for physical education, community technology centers, the National Writing Project, "smaller learning community" grants, and youth violence reduction programs.

Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth is distributing flyers informing readers about cuts affecting children and families in areas such as special education and Head Start and urging them to call Congress.

For more information on the impact of the Bush budget in Pennsylvania, see www.bushbudget.com.