AFT Boosts Bush's Fascist Education Plan
Inside AFT--Week of Dec. 17, 2001

* AFT Optimistic about Wide-Ranging Education Bill
* Social Security Commission Proposal a 'Raw Deal'
* Toledo Wins Prestigious Innovation Award
* AFT Comments on Microsoft Settlement Proposal
* FPE Task Force Looks at Incentives To Attract, Retain Employees
* AFT/UFT Training...Center for Missing Kids...Staff Retirements

The AFT is optimistic about the comprehensive education legislation passed
by the U.S. House of Representatives Dec. 13, noting that the legislation
contains a number of sound, positive elements. The union successfully
opposed the addition of vouchers and attempts to give states a "blank check"
that would allow them to redistribute federal funds without accountability.
The bill increases federal aid for schools--Title I now stands to be
increased 20 percent over last year--includes an early reading program that
the union supports and requires states to give reading and math tests to all
students in grades 3 through 8. Provisions for developing and implementing
high standards in core academic subject areas are also in the bill, as well
as alignment of professional development around new standards and
accountability for student progress. The conference committee,
unfortunately, rejected provisions that would have guaranteed full funding
for children with disabilities under the IDEA. While the AFT supports
testing, the requirement will impose new burdens on schools as state and
local governments feel the pinch from shrinking budgets, says the AFT. The
legislation includes modest funding for test development and also includes a
"trigger" on minimum funding that must be appropriated before the tests are
required. The Senate is expected to approve the legislation early this week.
An AFT press release on the bill is posted on the AFT Web site at

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