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Legislative Information


Labor/HHS/Education Bill Heads to Continuing Resolution (posted 9/23/09)

The 111th Congress has been unsuccessful in completing an appropriations bill for FY'10, and in fact, we are somewhat disappointed in what both chambers are proposing in their bills. As Mary Kusler, assistant director for AASA Adequacy and Policy office stated in a recent memo to AASA's membership, "The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) represents the single largest federal investment in education. When it was signed into law earlier this year, it was hard to picture Congress contemplating cuts to education funding." Unfortunately, the reality is that this stimulus energy did not translate to the education appropriations bills, which fund federal formula grants including Title I, IDEA and Safe Drug Free Schools, as well as competitive grants.

The House and Senate have completed their respective versions, with the House bill clearing the House floor. The Senate Committee's version, however, has not gone to the Senate floor. Both the House and Senate chose not to fund President Obama's request to shift $1.5 billion in order to increase the School Improvement grants and to provide $500 million to Early Childhood Grants. However, unlike the House Appropriations Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee reserved $1 million to repair and build new schools. As a result, the Senate bill would provide $13.8 billion to Title I compared to $14.5 billion in the House version. Most notably, the Senate proposes $700 million cut in Title I, which is the first time in almost three decades that the education community has seen a cut to Title I.

We are disappointed that Congress chose to provide "Cash for Clunkers," strong bank undergirding, and significant pork items in the stimulus bill, but could not pass a resolution as important as a spending bill for education. NABSE strongly opposes any cut in Title I. Any current cut in Title I funding makes it difficult for Congress to provide additional investment so that school districts can continue the efforts that began with ARRA funding.

A clear analysis of the House and Senate Committee reports show that Congress and the Obama Administration have moved away from formula funding toward support for competitive funding. The House bill exemplifies this shift in philosophy toward competitive grants choosing to eliminate the formula funding under the Safe and Drug Free Schools and cutting Education Technology (Title II, Part of ESEA) down to $100 million, thus ensuring that there is too little funding to run the program at the 50 percent formula as intended. Similarly, the Senate bill, after cutting $700 million from the basic grants of Title I, created a new $700 million school construction program that would provide competitive grants for new construction, modernization or renovation. The creation of this new competitive grant program, in our judgment, flies in the face of equity and access particularly for low wealth school districts, poor school districts, and rural school districts.

We urge our NABSE membership to continue to monitor this policy shift in Congress as well as the initiatives of the Obama Administration in order to ensure that equity, access, and opportunity to learn standards are always the building block for any federal education programs.




FY09 Appropriations

FY 09 Appropriations done at long last — Without much fan fare the President signed the omnibus appropriations bill just before the latest continuing resolution expired and after more than six months into the fiscal year. The ED has now posted the most up-to-date chart of each line item here. Download it for your future reference. Here are some of the highlights. We have bolded those that are most important to our constituency.

Programs FY 09 FY 08
Comp Centers $57.1 M $57.1 M
Regional Ed Labs $67.7 M $65.7 M
Research, Devel, Dissem fund (R&D Centers) $167 M $159.7 M
School Improvement Grants $545 M $491 M
NSF Math Science Partnerships $61 M $46 M
ED Math-Science Partnerships $179 M $179 M
Special Ed Research/Evaluation $79.9 M $79.9 M
Reading First $0 $505 M
Early Reading First $112 M $112 M
Statewide Data Systems $65 M $48.2 M
Striving Readers $35.3 M $35.3 M
Technology State Grants $269 M $267 M
Title I Formula $15 B $13.9 B
Even Start $66.4 M $66.4 M
21st Cent Comm Learn Centers $1.13 B $1.10 B
Smaller Learning Communities $88 M $76.1 M
Comprehensive School Reform $0 $1.6 M
Parent Information Res Centers $38.9 M $38.9 M
National Center for Ed Statistics $98.5 M $88.4 M
Improv Teach Quality Grants $2.9 B $2.9 B
ALL CHILDREN ARE EQUAL ACT (ACE)

THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT(AJA)AND EDUCATION IMPLICATIONS

THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT

APPROPRIATIONS AND BUDGET

CHARTER SCHOOLS

EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT (ESSA)

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

CONGRESSIONAL BILLS

REAUTHORIZATION OF THE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT OF 1965

TITLE I

VOUCHERS