The House Appropriations subcommittee on education significantly reduced the spending cuts sought by President Trump in the FY 2018 budget for the Education Dept. (DoEd), funding the department at $66 billion next year.
The spending level represents a $2.4 billion reduction, a 3.5% reduction, which is far less than the 13.5% reduction sought by the president. Trump was seeking a cut of $9.2 billion. It did include some significant cuts; gone is the $190 million Striving Readers program and the blueprint also reduced Title II teacher training by $2 billion.
Democrats slammed the bill’s elimination of $2 billion in Title II money for teacher training and class-size reductions, and said its increases to other education programs were welcomed but not sufficient.
The bill would preserve current funding levels for Title I, increase spending on special education by $200 million, and keep intact current aid for early education and career and technical education. It did not include signature school choice initiatives in Trump’s proposed budget: a $1 billion public school choice program and a $250 million state grant program to expand private school choice.
- Special Education – The bill includes $12.2 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of $200 million over the FY 2017 enacted level, which will maintain the federal share of special education funding to states.
- Student Support and Academic Achievement State Grants – The bill includes $500 million, $100 million above the FY 2017 level, for grants that provide flexible funds to states and school districts to expand access, improve school conditions, and increase the use of technology.
- Impact Aid – The bill provides over $1.3 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $5 million above the current enacted level.
- Charter Schools – The bill increases funding for charter schools by $28 million, to a total of $370 million.
- TRIO and GEAR UP programs, which help first-generation college students prepare for, enter, and complete college, are increased by $60 million and $10 million, respectively, bringing TRIO programs to a total of $1.01 billion and GEAR UP to a total of $350 million.
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – The bill includes $1 billion for CNCS, the same as last year’s enacted level.
- Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – The bill provides $18.5 billion in discretionary funding for ACF, which is $761 million below the FY 17 enacted level and $4 billion above the fiscal year 2018 request.
- Early childhood programs receive an increase of $26 million. Head Start receives $9.3 billion, a $22 million increase, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant receives $2.8 billion, a $4 million increase.
- Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides ETA with $8.5 billion – a decrease of $1.5 billion below last year’s enacted level and $848 million above the budget request.
- This total includes $2.6 billion for job training grants, $84.5 million for YouthBuild, and $790 million in mandatory appropriations for Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances, which provides job training programs for workers who lose their jobs as a result of international trade.
- Job Corps – The bill provides $1.69 billion for Job Corps, a decrease of $16 million over the 2017 enacted level and $239.7 million above the budget request. Funding is included in addition to amounts provided in FY 2017 for physical facility safety and security improvements.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) – The bill funds SAMHSA at $3.5 billion – $306 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $68 million above the President’s request. This includes $1.86 billion for the Substance Abuse Block Grant – the same as the FY 2017 enacted level and $3.4 million above the president’s budget request.
- It provides $82 million for ex-offender activities, under the WIOA-Second Chance Act. Of that total, $25 million must be set aside for competitive grants for activities that prepare young ex-offenders and school dropouts for employment, with a priority for projects serving high-crime, high-poverty areas.
The bill maintains funding for Preschool Development Grants at $250 million, the same as the FY 2017 enacted level. These are the successor to the Obama administration’s Race to the Top (R2T) grants, which were widely popular with both the states and appropriators.
Info: https://goo.gl/dz2u1Q (budget).