No matter how you feel about “earmarks,” the Coburn Amendment was defeated in the US Senate on Monday, by a vote of 39-56. This bill would have de-funded many programs, including the National Writing Project and Teacher for America. I got the news of the bill’s upcoming vote because of my role as an NCTE Policy Advocate, mainly with regard to the bill’s possible effects on literacy education and English/Language Arts teaching.
I have written before that the newly empowered fiscal conservatives were going to take aim at education too, even as America cries out for better schools, and this bill proves that I was right. Spending cuts have to be done with a scalpel, not a hatchet. NWP and Teach for America are important programs that need to be maintained.