[Fwd: Senate To Consider Eisenhower Funding SOON (fwd)]

From: Laura Bashlor <lauralou@gatecoms.gatecom.com>
Subject: [Fwd: Senate To Consider Eisenhower Funding SOON (fwd)]
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 1996 16:22:48 -0400

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From: Perry Samson <samson@engin.umich.edu>
To: k12weather Listserve <k12weather>
Subject: Senate To Consider Eisenhower Funding SOON (fwd)
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	To all:

	   It appears the Eisenhower funding is in
	jeopordy of being cut drastically.  Please
	note the following call for action.

				Perry Samson

>Dear Colleague:
>As you know, in late July the U. S. House of
>Representatives eliminated funding for the Eisenhower
>Professional Development Program in the 1997
>appropriations bill (HR 3755) and moved the funding
>into a block grant.  The Senate is expected to act on
>this bill when it returns from recess after Labor Day.
>(Note: As of this date, the Senate bill has no number.)
>The National Science Teachers Association is opposed to
>the elimination of the Eisenhower Program. In the past
>few weeks we have strongly urged Congress to reinstate
>the program at the 1996 level of $275 million. We are
>asking for your help in our efforts to safeguard this
>You can help by calling or by writing a brief letter to
>your Senators asking them to reject the House plan to
>eliminate Eisenhower funding and move the money into a
>block grant.  More importantly, we hope you will share
>this information with as many science and math teachers
>as possible and ask them to CALL OR WRITE to their
>Senators. It is critical that the education community
>garner as much support as possible on this issue;
>silence will be seen as a lack of support for a program
>that so many teachers rely on.  
>Enclosed you will find background information on this
>legislative initiative, talking points for your letters
>and calls, and tips on contacting your elected
>representatives. This information can also be found and
>downloaded from the NSTA homepage at this address:
>http://www.nsta.org/.  Feel free to reproduce any of
>this material to inform your colleagues about this
>Since Congress will return shortly after Labor Day and
>is expected to recess again in early October for the
>elections, Senate action on this bill is likely to be
>swift. Therefore, we urge you to contact your Senators
>as soon as possible and encourage as many of your
>colleagues to do the same. 
>If you have any questions or need additional
>information, please contact Ann Wild at NSTA, 
>(703) 312-9247, e-mail ann.wild@nsta.org.  
>Thank you for your cooperation -- together, I think we
>can make a difference and restore funding to this vital
>Gerry Wheeler
>NSTA Executive Director
>P.S.  When you write your letters, carbon copy them to
>the chairs of the Senate and House Appropriations
>Committees: Senator Mark Hatfield, SH-711 Hart Senate
>Office Building, Washington, DC 20510; Senator Arlen
>Specter, SH-530 Hart Senate Office Building,
>Washington, DC 20510; and Representative John Porter,
>2373 Rayburn, Washington, DC 20515.
>Teachers Urged To Contact Senators NOW
>The Eisenhower Professional Development program, the
>federal program designed to expand professional
>development opportunities for math and science
>educators, has been ELIMINATED from the House of
>Representatives 1997 education appropriations bill.
>Senate action on this bill is expected shortly after
>Congress returns from the August recess. 
>On July 12, the House of Representatives passed their
>education appropriations bill which included NO FUNDING
>for the Eisenhower Professional Development program.
>Instead, HR 3755 stipulates that all Eisenhower funding
>would be transferred to the Title IV block grant
>(formerly known as Chapter 2). 
>This block grant allows for flexible spending and does
>not specify that amounts be set aside for teacher
>professional development.  
>Senate mark-up on this bill, which had been expected in
>late July, was postponed until after Labor Day. At that
>time it is expected the Senate will take action quickly
>in early September.
>In FY 1996 Congress appropriated $275 million for the
>Eisenhower program, $250 million of which was reserved
>for math and science education.  NSTA is opposed to
>elimination of the Eisenhower program in HR 3755 and
>strongly urges funding of the Eisenhower program at the
>1996 level of $275 million.
>What You Can Do
>The silence of the education community on this issue
>will be interpreted as a lack of support for teacher
>professional development. The Education Department has
>indicated to NSTA that without a show of support from
>teachers, the Eisenhower program may face even
>additional hurdles next year after this current round
>of budget negotiations is over.
>If you are interested in safeguarding the Eisenhower
>YOU.  Remember that after the Senate votes on its
>version of the bill, the House and Senate bills will
>have to be reconciled by a conference committee
>comprised of members of the House and Senate
>Appropriations Committees. Then the compromise bill
>will go to both the House and Senate again for final
>So here is what you can do now:
>1.  Call or write both your Senators with your concerns
>about the Eisenhower program. Emphasize why support for
>professional development has been important to you and
>your students. Ask your Senators to reject the House
>plan to lump the Eisenhower funding into a block grant
>and instead fund the program at the 1996 level of $275
>million. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121
>for the phone numbers of your Senators.  Or write to
>them at Honorable (firstname lastname), United States
>Senate, Washington, DC 20510-2203. 
>2.  Write or call Senator Arlen Specter, Chairman,
>Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
>Appropriations Subcommittee, SD-184 Dirksen,
>Washington, DC 20510; (202) 224-4254 and Senator Mark
>Hatfield, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee,
>S-128 Capitol Building, Washington, DC 20510; (202)
>224-3753. Tell them your concerns about the Eisenhower
>program and ask them to reject the House plan and fully
>fund the program at the 1996 level of $275 million.
>3.  Call, write, or visit your Representative.  Tell
>him or her your concerns about the Eisenhower program
>and how important this funding is to you.  Ask your
>representative to relay your concerns to Representative
>John Porter (R-IL), Chairman of the Labor Health and
>Human Services and Education Appropriations
>4.  CC the letters you send to members of Congress to
>Education Secretary Richard Riley.  This will reinforce
>the support for Eisenhower to the Department of
>Education and the Administration. Write to him at
>Secretary Richard Riley, Department of Education, 600
>Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20202.
>5. Spearhead efforts within your school or district to
>encourage your fellow teachers to write to their
>Members of Congress.  Share this information with your
>colleagues at all local or state meetings and ask for
>their support and involvement as well.
>As always, we urge you to check the NSTA web site for
>the latest news on this legislative initiative.  If you
>need additional information, please contact Ann Wild at
>the NSTA office: ann.wild@nsta.org or (703) 312-9247
>For information on contacting members of Congress, see
>the Tips on Communicating With Members of Congress
>When writing or calling Congress about the Eisenhower
>program, consider using the following talking points:
>1.  Focus on how you rely on Eisenhower professional
>development funds to update your knowledge and skills.
>Relate how the program has benefited you, and how it
>has benefited your students.  Explain how science
>teachers must continuously expand and upgrade their
>knowledge and skills in order to effectively teach
>2.  It is ironic that at a time when many federal,
>state, and local communities are calling for improved
>educational opportunities, Congress is poised to
>dramatically reduce professional development for
>science and math teachers. 
>3.  Science teachers nationwide are working hard to
>implement state frameworks and the voluntary national
>science education standards set forth by the National
>Research Council. These standards call for continued
>professional development opportunities to keep teachers
>current and to ensure quality science and math
>education for all students.  Without full Eisenhower
>funding, science and math education programs could be
>seriously compromised. This ultimately affects our
>students -- the next generation of scientists,
>engineers, and technicians we are preparing for the
>21st century. 
>                          TIPS ON COMMUNICATING 
>                     WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
>How to Get Started
>     Every Member of Congress maintains at least one
>     office in his or her home state. In a state like
>     Vermont, for example, which has one
>     Representative, that individual maintains several
>     small offices throughout the state. These
>     satellite offices are there to provide constituent
>     services. If you need information from an agency
>     in Washington, assistance completing a federal
>     grant application, or would like to make an
>     appointment to share information about an upcoming
>     science event at a local school, staff at the
>     state office(s) are there to assist you.
>Writing Letters
>     Although your Representatives and Senators
>     maintain offices in their home states, today's
>     heavy Congressional work schedule limits the
>     frequent and extended visits that used to keep
>     Members of Congress in close touch with their
>     constituents. As a result, letters from home have
>     become the main form of voter contact and the
>     primary source of constituency views. Your
>     Senators and Representatives NEED AND WANT to hear
>     from you in order to keep informed about what the
>     people back home really care about.
>     Writing an effective letter is not a difficult
>     task. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind
>     when corresponding with an elected official:
>        * Write on your personal or business letterhead
>          if possible, and place your signature over
>          your typed name at the end of your message.
>        * Be sure your exact return address is on the
>          letter, not just the envelope. Envelopes
>          sometimes get thrown away before the letter
>          is answered.
>        * Identify your subject clearly. State the name
>          of the legislation you are writing about.
>          Give the House or Senate bill number if you
>          are writing about specific legislation.
>        * State your reason for writing. Your own
>           personal experience is your best supporting
>           evidence. Explain how the issue would affect
>           your program or students.
>        * Avoid stereotyped phrases and sentences that
>          give the appearance of "form" letters. They
>          tend to identify your message as part of an
>          organized pressure campaign--not the best way
>          to create an impact.
>        * Be reasonable. Don't ask for the impossible.
>          Don't threaten. Instead, offer your gratitude
>          and support if the Member is able to be of
>          assistance.
>        * Be constructive. If you are writing to
>        protest one 
>          solution to a legitimate problem, offer a
>          viable alternative. Sound knowledgeable about
>          both sides of the argument, and be persuasive
>          about your own position.
>        * Do not make unsupported or unsubstantiated
>          claims.  Exaggerated statements or
>          misinformation cast doubt on the views you
>          express.
>        * Concentrate your correspondence on
>          Senators and Representatives from your own
>          state. The Representative of your district
>          and the Senators of your state want to know
>          your views. They have hired staff for the
>          sole purpose of responding to constituent
>          mail and making opinions expressed by voters
>          known to the Congressperson.
>        * Ask your legislator to state his or her
>        position on 
>          the issue in reply. As a constituent, you are
>          entitled to know his or her views.
>        * Consider the factor of timing. Try to write
>          your position on a bill while it is in
>          committee, before a final vote has been cast.
>        * Thank your legislator if he/she pleases you
>          with a vote or a response on an issue. 
>          Everyone appreciates a complimentary letter--
>          and remembers it.
>Making Phone Calls
>     A phone call to a Congressional office is an
>     effective way to make your views known when you
>     are interested in an upcoming vote and when your
>     opinion can be concisely stated. It is unlikely
>     you would be able to talk directly with a Member;
>     but again, staff are assigned to respond to phone
>     messages and your position is recorded. If you do
>     have an established rapport with a Member of
>     Congress so that your call will be put through,
>     use this kind of influence sparingly.
>     If calling Washington, D.C., seems like an
>     unnecessary expense, a phone call to your
>     Member's state office will often accomplish the
>     same results.
>     Here are some specific tips for phone calls:
>     * Remember that time is a precious commodity
>        for each of us. 
>     * State your views clearly and succinctly and make
>       sure that you conclude with a request.
>     * Make it clear that you have a specific and
>        important reason for calling.
>     * If possible, always offer information or an
>        invitation to an event that exemplifies the
>        importance of science education along with your
>        request for assistance.
>Face-to-Face Meetings
>     Most Senators and Representatives
>     make a point of scheduling several days each month
>     for appointments with local constituents.
>     A face-to-face appointment with one of your
>     Washington representatives can be arranged by
>     calling the regional office in your area. Staff
>     can schedule meetings in the state or refer your
>     request to the Washington office. Generally, these
>     meetings are brief. Members are most likely to
>     make themselves available for constituent visits
>     when a press response can be generated. If you are
>     traveling with students or science teachers who
>     have benefited from federal science education
>     programs or with several board members, a request
>     for a photograph with your representative means
>     the possibility of a news release in the local
>     press. This provides good publicity for federal
>     science education programs and for the Member of
>     Congress featured in the photograph.
>     Remember, just as you are interested in being
>     known to elected officials because of their
>     influential positions, they are interested in
>     knowing you if you can generate positive
>     information about them to constituents back home.
>Meeting Your Representative or Senator
>     If you are interested in meeting with your
>     Representative or Senator, it is important to do
>     your homework first:
>        * Find out what committee assignments or
>           special commissions the Member 
>           serves on.
>        * Make a point of researching the specific
>           issues of interest to the Member. In
>           addition to knowing the position of the
>           Member within Congress, it is also helpful
>           to know the political and social background
>           of the Member--a common friend, hometown or
>           educational background. Using the "personal
>           touch" can be the key ingredient in
>           establishing a successful relationship.
>           Specifically, the Almanac of American
>           Politics and Politics in America contains
>           useful information about Members of
>           Congress.
>        * If the point of the meeting is to encourage
>          interest in a new issue or program that
>          would further the goals of science education,
>          create a persuasive argument about why the
>          position you advocate would benefit other
>          residents of your state.
>          Remember that Members of Congress serve at
>          the pleasure of their constituents. If you
>          can convince your representative that what
>          you are advocating is important to other
>          voting residents of your state or district,
>          the likelihood of selling your argument
>          increases.
>        * Be respectful of the Member's time.
>          Make sure your visit is purposeful and well
>          planned.
>        * Even if your real purpose is a simple
>          introduction, make sure you include on your
>          agenda a request for support of legislation
>          you believe to be important; an invitation to
>          visit a local school's science education
>          facilities or to participate in some other
>          event; or delivery of printed information you
>          believe will be of value in understanding
>          science education and NSTA and how the
>          efforts of the Association benefit your
>          state.
>Keeping in Touch with NSTA
>     As a member of a network of more than 53,000
>     individuals and institutions, it is important that
>     any orchestrated legislative efforts include
>     contact with NSTA's headquarters in Arlington,
>     Virginia. Members of Congress do not need to be
>     repeatedly hammered on the same issue if they have
>     already promised support and efforts are better
>     directed elsewhere. 
>     Thus, sending NSTA copies of any letters you send
>     to Members or reporting back the results of any
>     Congressional meetings will help NSTA and your
>     colleagues increase the efficiency of our joint
>     legislative efforts.
>            National Science Teachers Association
>            Legislative Affairs -- Office of Public
>            Information 1840 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA
>            22201-3000 (703) 243-7100
>            http://www.nsta.org