Ed Week: Showdown Brews as Congress Turns Focus to K-12 Spending

Here. A quote:

Big questions loom about just how much money Congress will steer to individual programs—including the Obama administration’s marquee competitive-grant initiatives—with lawmakers on House and Senate appropriations committees facing a Jan. 15 deadline to fill in details on the current year’s spending plan or face another government shutdown.

School districts that have been chafing under across-the-board federal cuts known as sequestration for nearly a year got a two-year reprieve under the agreement approved last month that effectively scales back the sequestration cuts to education by 87 percent over that period, according to an analysis by the Committee for Education Funding, a lobbying coalition in Washington.

But the deal, which sets discretionary spending levels at roughly $1.02 trillion for the overall budget this year and will keep them relatively flat for the next two years, leaves little room for big new initiatives, such as President Barack Obama’s high-profile proposal to expand preschool to more 4-year-olds.

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