The House Labor, Health & Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee released its 2013 funding bill Tuesday, and it reduces funding for the U.S. Department of Education by $1.1 billion.
While the bill includes a $500 million increase in Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) funding, and maintains the Striving Readers program, it eliminates numerous programs such as the School Leadership program and Race to the Top. Also cut is the School Improvement Grant program. (The program advocates school reform models requiring the arbitrary firing of principal, which NAESP has not supported.)
Markup of the bill began today. Here is the draft bill—the education section begins on page 94.
Committee chairman Hal Rodgers (R-KY) released a statement on the draft bill, which included the following summary on education funding:
The bill funds the Department of Education at $70 billion, which is $1.1 billion below last year’s level and $2.9 billion below the budget request. The bill eliminates many duplicative, inefficient, or unauthorized education programs, including the Administration’s “Race to the Top” program. The bill also includes limitations that prohibit the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations that define “gainful employment” and “credit hour,” or dictates on how states must license institutions of higher education.
- Title I Program – These basic grants to local school districts that help all children become proficient in reading and math are funded at $15 billion, which is the same as last year’s level.
- Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,635, due to an authorized mandatory cost-of-living adjustment.
- Special Education – Special Education grants to states are funded at $12.1 billion in the legislation – an increase of $500 million above last year’s level. This will provide a small increase in the federal share of special education funding to the states, allowing better funding of required special education services.
This bill is the only remaining fiscal year 2013 Appropriations bill that has not yet moved through the House Appropriations Committee this year. Six of the twelve 2013 bills have been approved by the full House.
Senate majority chairman Harry Reid (D-NV) recently announced that the Senate would bring no individual funding bills to the Senate floor for a vote, since the House opted to move appropriations bills with overall funding levels far below the agreed-to levels that were included in last summer’s bipartisan Budget Control Act.
For a summary on the Senate appropriations bill, read NAESP’s blog post on the topic.