Ohio college students get funding boost

Rachel Abbey

The U.S. Senate focused about $10 billion to education, health and labor programs in its recently approved version of the budget for next year.

The Senate budget committee kept President George W. Bush’s proposed overall spending limit, but shifted an additional $3 billion to health and education programs, said Jennifer Poulakidas, vice president of Congressional Affairs for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, the nation’s oldest higher education association, supports educational excellence in teaching, research and public service, according to its Web site. Its more than 200 members, including Kent State, come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.

When the bill hit the Senate floor, drastic changes to the president’s vision began taking place.

The Senate added more than $16 billion above Bush’s proposal for the budget, according to The Associated Press.

An amendment which would add $7 billion more for education, health and labor programs passed with a 73-27 vote.

“This can actually have a big difference as opposed to where we started out the year on education programs,” Poulakidas said.

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives’ budget committee, and then the House, probably within the next two weeks, Poulakidas said. The two bills will have to be reconciled, and both chambers will have to pass the compromise. Then, the bill will go to the president.

Conservatives in the House will most likely oppose the additional spending, according to The Associated Press.

“We’re merely at a guessing game, but we sure hope the House follows the Senate’s lead and recognizes that education needs a boost,” Poulakidas said.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected]