January 5, 2019

 Permanent link

January Advocate: Federal Education Funding Set for 20-21 School Year

 Before the holiday break, the President signed H.R. 1865, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of FY20 into law. The bill and its provisions fund the federal government for F720 which runs from Oct 1, 2019 thru September 30, 2020. FY20 dollars will be in schools during the 2020-2021 school year. Congress has relied on a series of short-term continuing resolutions to keep government funded and running since September 30, 2019. The final continuing resolution was set to expire at midnight on December 21st meaning the timing of the bill forced an expedited floor vote schedule in both the House and the Senate. The President agreed to sign the funding bill as it provides some funding, $1.4 billion, for the border wall. He is expected to try and shift cash from other funding streams to bolster funding for the wall.

H.R. 1865 provides $1.4 trillion for FY20. The more than 2,000-page bill will appropriate $738 billion in FY20 funding for the defense discretionary spending and $632 billion for non-defense discretionary spending. Specific to education, the bill provides $40.1 billion for K-12 education programs which is an increase of $1.2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $5.9 billion above the President’s budget request. This is the third largest increase for ED since FY11 (the year that ED funding started being cut or frozen). The bill rejects the draconian cuts to critical programs proposed by the Trump Administration as well as their continued efforts to further advance their flawed privatization agenda.  

Program Specific Details:

  • K12 Programs
    • ESSA Title I: $450m increase to $16.3b
    • ESSA Title II: $76m increase to 2.1b (first increase in 6 years)
    • ESSA Title III: $50m increase to $787 (first increase in 5 years)
    • ESSA Title IV: $40 m increase to $1.2b
    • IDEA State Grants (Part B): $417m increase to $13.9b (3% increase)
    • Impact Aid: $40m increase, to $1.4b
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers: $28 m increase, to $1.2b
    • REAP: $5m increase to $186m
    • Career and Technical Education State Grants: $20m increase to $1.28b
    • Homeless Youth/Children: $8m increase to $105m
    • School Safety National Activities: $10m increase to $105m
  • Early Education
    • Head Start: $550m increase to $10.6b
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $550m increase to $5.8b
  • Funding and Policy Beyond The Labor-Health-Education Bill
    • STOP School Violence Act Grants: $25m increase to $125m
    • Secure Rural Schools/Forest Counties: The bill reauthorizes and provides two years of funding for the SRS program for FY19 and FY20
    • DC Voucher: Reauthorizes the program for 4 additional years
    • Raises the age for purchasing tobacco products including e-cigarettes to 21 from 18.
    • Provides $12.5m in funding for researching gun violence prevention
    • Adequately funds the Census to ensure it can be properly administered
    • Contains policy language instructing CMS and ED to work together to reduce administrative barriers for providing health services in and in coordination with schools and provide technical assistance to assist with billing and payment administration for Medicaid services in schools.
    • Repeals the Cadillac Tax from the Affordable Care Act

AASA is pleased to see that Congress prioritized increased funding for our key formula programs like IDEA and Title I. However, this funding is still short of what districts were receiving in FY11 when adjusting for inflation. Furthermore, while it’s true that IDEA received a 3.2% boost in this bill, which represents a slightly higher percentage increase than what the other key K12 programs received, this increase is only a little better than inflation, which is projected to be 2% in 2020. Effectively, this means that IDEA is only receiving a real increase of 1.2% while the number of children with disabilities districts are educating continues to increase. As we look ahead to FY21 AASA will continue to push Congressional leadership and appropriators to make greater investments in IDEA until it is fully funded.