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House Republicans Seek to Slash Education Spending

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives this week is considering a spending bill that would cut $100 billion, including millions of dollars in support for research and student financial aid, from President Obama's budget request. In total, the measure would cut $4.9 billion from the U.S. Department of Education's $63.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2010.

"The student-aid reductions would trim the maximum Pell Grant by 15 percent, or $845, from the $5,550 available to the neediest students now, and make 1.7 million students ineligible for Pell Grants, according to Mark Kantrowitz, who publishes FinAid, a Web site that gives financial-aid advice," writes The Chronicle of Higher Education's Kelly Field. "If enacted, the reductions would be the largest cut in student-aid funds in the history of the Pell Grant program."

"'This absolutely would be the largest cuts ever in history for education programs," said Joel Packer, a principal with the Raben Group in Washington, who works with the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition that advocates for increasing education spending," writes Education Week's Alyson Klein.

"Advocates for students drew attention to the differing approaches the administration and House leaders were poised to take," writes Inside Higher Ed's Doug Lederman. "After praising President Obama for his 'commitment to maintaining this crucial investment in our nation's economic recovery and keeping the maximum Pell Grant at the current level of $5,550,' Lauren Asher of the Institute for College Access and Success said that the House's plan to cut the grants would 'pull the rug right out from under students and families who are counting on these crucial grants to help pay for college this fall.'"

"Appearing in Maryland, Obama declared, 'We can't sacrifice our future,'" writes the Associated Press' Julie Pace. "He said the country has a responsibility to commit money to areas that will help it compete against other nations. And he emphasized education as one example."