Congress Trying to Pry Funding for Holocaust Education Program

Members of Congress are trying to convince the Department of Education to fund a Holocaust education program that it has refused to help subsidize since 1986.

Marc Smolonsky, an aide to Rep. Ted Weiss (D-N.Y.), said Weiss is planning to explore possible funding mechanisms with the acting deputy assistant education secretary for operations.

Patricia Hines was named to that post Friday, replacing Bruno Manno.

Manno testified at a House Government Operation subcommittee hearing last week, chaired by Weiss, which was called to investigate the department’s rejection of funds for the program.

Shirley Curry, the department official who until recently oversaw the grant program at issue, denied at the hearing that she was motivated by anti-Semitism.

Smolonsky said there will be “no more hearings,” and that Weiss is “very optimistic” that the Holocaust program, “Facing History and Ourselves,” will be funded at some point.

Martin Sleeper, associate director of the Holocaust program, which is designed for students in junior high and senior high school, said he is glad that Curry will no longer oversee the grant program, known as the National Diffusion Network.

Curry was shifted to another department post Oct. 14, although she had planned to leave the department in November anyway.

Curry oversaw the network from 1986 through the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. It has rejected funding for the program each year.

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