October 24, 2019

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Education Funding Possibly Pushed to Spring

Reports from Congress are that Congressional leaders are coalescing around a decision to pass a continuing resolution (CR) that would push funding for the US. Department of Education until February or March of 2020. The time that may be required in both chambers to devote to impeachment proceedings is the main impetus for crafting a longer-term CR although negotiations are also said to be at a standstill because there is no agreement as to how to fund the President’s border wall. As Senator Shelby, who Chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said yesterday, “unless a miracle happens around here with the House and the Senate, we will have to come forth with another CR.” 

Multiple continuing resolutions is challenging for AASA members because it gives districts less time to plan for forthcoming funding for the 20-21 school year. Politically it is problematic as well because the temptation to pass a year-long CR (which is level funding) is higher the longer that funding bills are delayed. While many people describe a year-long CR as level funding it’s important to remember that a CR does not adjust for inflation so in reality it is a cut in terms of buying power. Given where we started this year with House Democrats recommending $1 billion in additional funding for both IDEA and Title I it would be really disappointing to end up with no funding increases for these key formula programs.  



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