The federal battle over the education budget moved from Washington to Albuquerque this morning as a top education official enlisted East San Jose Elementary School parents to fight proposed cuts by Congress.

Mario Moreno, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, warned parents and administrators at East San Jose Elementary that the Southeast Albuquerque school would be hit hard by any cuts.

“In New Mexico, Title 1 money would be cut by $9.9 million,” Moreno said during a news conference this morning at the school. “You’re in a school right now that relies on Title 1 big time.”

East San Jose — where most students live in poverty — relies heavily on federal money to fund bilingual, parent-involvement and remedial programs like Title 1.

Most APS schools have bilingual programs or others funded through Title 1.

Much of that money could disappear, Moreno said, if the U.S. Senate doesn’t modify the education spending bill recently approved by the House. A Senate subcommittee is scheduled to hear the bill Wednesday.

Moreno — representing the Clinton administration — said President Clinton has proposed increasing education by $40 billion, while the House bill calls for $36 billion in cuts.

Moreno’s visit to East San Jose attracted mostly local and state education officials, but some parents showed up to ask how they can help stave off the proposed cuts.

APS could lose 250 to 300 teaching positions that are federally funded if the proposed cuts are approved, Moreno said.

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