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May Capitol Hill Watch Alert

Vote expected in early June on The Better Education for Students and Teachers Act (S. 1)

The vote on The Better Education for Students and Teachers Act (S1) is expected in early June.

As a result of several amendments, the bill's funding levels have exploded while the new bill creates more red tape placing further limits on local flexibility. School vouchers have been eliminated from the plan, which would have given federal money to parents of children in failing schools to use for private school tuition and transportation expenses. The Straight A's program, which would have eliminated specific federal education programs and given local officials the choice of how to spend money from Washington, has also been watered-down.

The Education Finance Incentive Program, proposed by S.1., would provide measurement systems for states that Washington considers to have a better education financing system. States that spend more money with no regard for how those resources are used would be rewarded by the complicated formula.

Another program from The Better Education for Students and Teachers Act, a Hate Crimes Prevention Program, would provide training, curricula, and instructional materials for the prevention of "crime and conflicts motivated by hate."

The Innovative Education Program Strategies (IEPS) program would authorize funding to duplicate programs that are in other actions of the bill.

The proposed Senate bill would also make few changes in the existing and failing programs for students in bilingual education programs. In addition, the measure would offer no provision to protect teachers, principals, and school board members from liabilities when they undertake reasonable actions to maintain order and discipline in the classroom.

What Can You Do?

Please urge your senators not to support The Better Education for Students and Teachers Act (S.1) because it expands the failed federal educational programs of the American public school system. The bill also fails to provide the flexibility and accountability needed in today's public school system through the reduction of the government's control over American classrooms.

Contact Information:

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your senators' offices.)

To go to your senators' websites, find their E-mail or to find out who your senators are... http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm

Addressing Correspondence:

The Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator (last name):

To view a sample letter to a senator, go to http://www.americanvoiceinstitute.orgThe/BetterEducationForStudentsLetter.htm

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