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September 26, 2018
Status of the FY2019 Appropriations
On September 18, the Senate approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies (Labor-H) as part of a package that includes Department of Defense spending. A short-term continuing resolution (CR) that runs through December 7 was included to fund agencies with budgets yet to be finalized through the appropriations process.
Within the agreement, the Department of Education would receive $71.5 billion, a $581 million increase over FY 2018. While most education, children and families initiatives fared as good as or better than last year, a last-minute effort by education stakeholders to prevent Title IV funds from being used for arming teachers with firearms, a response to a recent proposal by Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, failed.
The CR portion of the bill would cover spending for agencies ranging from the National Science Foundation to the Homeland Security Agency—punting spending decisions on a proposed border wall until after the November mid-term elections. Senate passage of the spending package paves the way for the House to consider the bill this week. Lawmakers are optimistic that the House will approve the measure, and that it will be signed by President Trump before the end of the month. This would mark first time in 22 years that the Labor-H bill is signed into law before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
June 26, 2018
Protect Federal Education Funding in the FY2019 Appropriations
Congress is working on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) appropriations bills. These bills allocate what the federal government can spend, how much, and where. This is where education derives the bulk of its federal funding.
FY2019 starts on October 1, 2018, and ends on September 30, 2019. The House and Senate appropriators (who make decisions about where federal education funding goes) are finalizing their proposals. Therefore, it is critical that we remind Congress of the importance of fully funding the following education priorities:
Fully Fund the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
· Title I exists to ensure students have equitable access to rich and compelling learning opportunities and transformative curricula.
· Title II funds teacher recruitment and training to ensure students have fully qualified teachers who have the resources and professional learning opportunities necessary to be current in their practice. It also funds the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) program, which provides states with the flexibility to improve literacy instruction for all content areas for students from early childhood through high school.
Fully Fund the Higher Education Act (HEA)
· Title II supports schools of education, which are essential for providing teacher preparation, strengthening recruitment, and improving teacher training programs. Title II provides grants that enable institutions of higher education to continue this work. Teacher candidates also need access to federal grants such as the Teach Grants to support their becoming full-time teachers in a high-need field in schools that serves students from low-income families.
· Title IV provides access to college for at-risk students through federal student grant and loan programs.
What can you do to advocate on behalf of funding for these education priorities?
Email or call your legislators in the House or Senate:
1. Use the form below to send an email to your legislator. Once you enter your address, the system will know where to send your message.
2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the offices of your legislators.
3. Identify yourself as a constituent and as a member of NCTE and share these points:
We must fully fund the education initiatives that further equity and excellence in the American educational system.
Please fully fund Title I and II of ESSA and ensure that the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) program and supports for teachers’ professional development are not cut.
Please fully fund Title II and IV of the Higher Education Act and ensure that grant funding for teacher education and college access is not cut.
Shortchanging appropriations in these areas costs us the future success of our children, and that’s a sacrifice we cannot afford to make.
You don’t need an action alert from NCTE to raise your voice.
If you want to speak out about current education issues, consider NCTE’s Policy Recommendations for 2017. You can get the word out in many ways including:
- E-mail your legislators about these issues
- Request a meeting at your legislator’s district office or on Capitol Hill
- Write letters to the editor or an op-ed in your local or national newspaper
- Submitting a blog post that offers your particular take/experience with the issue
- Sharing NCTE positions with others in your school/community