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The AACSE feels strongly that increased federal funding needs to be provided to the states to ensure the proper education of the American children. The Presidentís budget for FY07 cuts education by $2.1 billion from the FY06 budget, a 3.8% decrease in funding. The Presidentís budget also includes cutting 42 programs. The proposed budget falls far short of what is needed to properly fund current programs. AACSE supports increased funding to help aid our schools so that no child will be left behind.
The Presidentís budget for FY07 falls approximately $6.3 billion short of the amount authorized in the 2004 reauthorization. Approximately 70,000 students will be left without the services that they need due to the lack of promised funding through reauthorization. It is important to 1) fund IDEA to its authorized amount; and 2) demand that IDEA be fully funded at its 40% level that was originally intended when the law was first passed in the 1970ís.
 
The AACSE is calling on Congress to reauthorize Head Start this year. During the reauthorization process, AACSE is seeking to increase funding to continue services. AACSE believes that the reauthorization in 2006 should include 1) increased funding allowing those who need Head Start to have access to the program; 2) reject faith-based bias; 3) continue comprehensive services for Head Start children; and 4) reject all block grant proposals.

AACSE believes that the ďNo Child Left BehindĒ Act is a very important piece of legislation. AACSE supports professional development for its members. The new law requires paraprofessionals to complete two years of college; hold an associateís degree; or pass a rigorous test determined by each state. The AACSE applauds the Department of Education for extending the deadline to meet the new law until the end of the 2005-06 school year. AACSE supports the Presidentís initiative to help our school children success, but feels that the President has not supported his own initiative by under-funding the program. AACSE supports FLEXIBILITY in the law and uniform standards in every state.
The purpose of Perkins is to provide individuals with the academic and technical skills needed to succeed in a knowledge and skills-based economy. AACSE supports career and technical that prepares students both for postsecondary education and the careers of their choice outlined in the Perkins Act. AACSE believes that the reauthorization should be a priority for the 2006 legislative session and include proper funding so that states have sufficient resources for the program.
The AACSE strongly affirms the need to build and sustain school buildings that create a healthy and enriching environment to learn, teach and work. Many of our nationís schools have poor indoor air quality caused by mold and other common pollutants that have resulted in an increase in respiratory illness in students and staff. The AACSE believes that there needs to be some federal oversight for the design, construction and maintenance of school buildings. The AACSE also suggests setting uniform, research-based standards for IAQ management creating a national clearinghouse for best practices; and establishing IA incentive programs for schools. We are committed to protecting our nationís school children.

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