Budget Bills Still Under Negotiation
Student financial aid programs continue to operate with temporary funds as the House and Senate try to reach a final agreement on education spending for 2002.
Support for Pell Grants, work/study and Black colleges remains in limbo as House and Senate negotiators wade through dozens of funding disputes. Each chamber passed its version of an education appropriations bill earlier this fall. However, some provisions in those bills — such as higher Pell Grants for needy students — are in jeopardy because of increased demand for student aid in the declining U.S. economy.
All of these programs have operated with temporary funds since the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. While negotiations continue, Congress and the White House have agreed to provide temporary funds through the second week of December.
Meanwhile, Congress has sent to President Bush a bill with an 11 percent increase for education programs at the National Science Foundation. Most of the new funds would support a Bush initiative to expand college partnerships in math and science.
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