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Federal Spending Plan Aims to Ease ‘Sequester’ Pain

The massive spending bill headed for passage in Congress Monday aims to largely restore federal aid for most schools after the biggest cuts to K-12 funding in history, while including a more than $1 billion down payment on the Obama administration’s proposal to ramp up existing early-childhood programs. But two initiatives high on the administration’s wish list—a Race to the Top for higher education and $750 million in new grants to help states improve their preschool programs—aren’t slated to receive funding in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

And the bill would flat-fund, or even cut, the marquee competitive-grant programs that form the bedrock of the administration’s education-redesign strategy.