NSBA’s advocacy department has provided the following analysis of the final appropriations bill (H.R. 1473) for fiscal year 2011, which will fund the remaining six months of this fiscal year. President Obama signed the bill on April 15.
While the measure does not impose the range of cuts to domestic programs that was debated earlier this year, it reduces funding across most federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, by more than $38 billion.
In addition, elementary and secondary education programs are subject to a 0.2 percent across-the-board cut that could total about $836 million. The FY2011 Continuing Resolution directs the Education Department and other agencies to submit in-depth expenditure or operating plans to the House and Senate appropriations committees within 30 days of the bill’s enactment “for fiscal year 2011 at a level of detail below the account level.” Therefore, the exact funding levels for programs including Title I grants, special education (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and Impact Aid may not be available from the Department until mid-May.
The law also directs the Education Department to share findings from program evaluations of Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, “including impact evaluations and interim progress evaluations, of activities conducted using funds previously obligated” under the economic stimulus.
While the law continues funding for newer competitive grant programs and provides increases for early childhood education, it reduces and eliminates funding for other education programs.
Increases to new and existing programs:
Specifically, $700 million is provided for another round of Race to the Top competitive grants program to states, as well as a new grant program for “improving early childhood care and education” that would be administered jointly between the Departments of Education and Health & Human Services. Based on the law’s provisions, grants would be available to states to help create and improve high-quality early learning programs and services and increase enrollment among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The program would be based on earlier legislation that NSBA supported in FY2010 for an Early Learning Challenge Fund.
Other program increases include $150 million for another round of grants under the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, a $20 million increase for Promise Neighborhoods grants ($30 million total), and a $340 million increase for Head Start ($7.56 billion total).
Program cuts listed within the law include a $475 million reduction to Teacher Quality State Grants (remaining funding approximately $2.46 billion). Within this program, a new component of competitive grants totaling approximately $29 million would be available to groups that provide teacher certification services. (One of the previous FY2011 short-term continuing resolutions eliminated specific funding for teacher certification boards.)
Other program reductions/eliminations include:
- The elimination of the Enhancing Education Through Technology State Grants ($100 million);
- A $138 million reduction to Career and Technical Education grants, which may include the elimination of the Tech Prep component that supports a transition from high school to postsecondary institutions for academic education and career/technical training and education;
- Elimination of Smaller Learning Communities ($88 million);
- A $79 million cut to Safe and Drug-Free Schools National Programs;
- Elimination of the Striving Readers program ($250 million);
- Elimination of Arts in Education ($40 million);
- Elimination of Even Start ($66.5 million), which helps integrate early childhood education, adult education, and parenting programs;
- A $15 million reduction to English Language Acquisition grants (remaining funding approximately $735 million);
- A $10 million reduction to School Improvement grants (remaining funding approximately $535 million);
- Elimination of Reading is Fundamental ($24.8 million).
NSBA will provide an updated chart reflecting the Department’s most recent calculations as soon as possible. Also, NSBA’s letter to Congress regarding H.R. 1473 is available here. The letter expressed strong opposition to the continuance of the District of Columbia voucher program, which was included in the April 8 continuing resolution, and urged Congress to reconsider increases to programs that are competitively funded when cuts are imposed to key programs, such as Title I grants that benefit more students.
Funding for Voucher Program for District of Columbia Included in Continuing Resolution
NSBA thanks you for responding to our calls to action to defeat the proposal to fund the District of Columbia Voucher program. Despite a broad-based, ongoing lobbying effort by NSBA (in addition to our extensive coalition efforts with the National Coalition for Public Education), the Continuing Resolution for FY2011 adopted by both the House and Senate on April 14, included an extension and expansion of vouchers in the District of Columbia, as passed by the House in H.R. 471 and introduced by House Speaker John Boehner. The voucher program would extend vouchers of up to $7,500 per student, in a set aside of up to $15.5 million per year for the next five years.
Voucher amendments have only been successful as “riders” to CRs, and have not been passed by both chambers as free-standing bills. Only when included in a massive, all-encompassing bill have vouchers been enacted into law. NSBA will keep you apprised of any additional voucher proposals as they surface on Capitol Hill and necessary action steps.