The House Budget Committee on Wednesday approved by a slim margin Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal. The proposed budget is now expected to come before the full House of Representatives sometime next week.
Ryan’s budget proposal sets the Fiscal Year 2013 discretionary spending cap at $1.028 trillion, $19 billion below the spending cap established by last summer’s bipartisan Budget Control Act. Because Ryan’s budget proposal reduces the top-line spending cap while increasing defense spending, discretionary spending (which includes most of the Department of Education’s budget) is squeezed by an additional 5.4 percent cut in FY 2013 and a staggering 19 percent cut in FY 14 -- more than double the reduction in funding levels the Department would receive as a result of the Budget Control Act.
Five amendments relating to education were debated by the Budget Committee, but failed to gain the necessary support for passage, including:
- Congressman Honda’s (D-CA) amendment blocking cuts to discretionary education funding;
- Congresswomen Karen Bass’s (D-CA) amendment maintaining current student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for an additional year, which are scheduled to double this July;
- Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s (D-TX) amendment to block cuts to Head Start;
- Congressman Lloyd Doggett's (D-TX) amendment makeing permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit;
- Congresswomen Betty McCollum (D-MN) amendment providing $30 billion in funding for school modernization
More than 50 federal education programs have been eliminated in the past two budget cycles and investments in education were reduced by over $1.2 trillion in that same time period. These cuts, along those proposed in Chairman Ryan’s budget, come at a time when schools continue to struggle with state and local budget shortfalls and lingering effects of the recession.
NAESP strongly opposes Chairman Ryan’s budget proposal, and encourages NAESP members to contact your member of Congress to express opposition. You can find your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives by entering your zip code here.
IDEA Funding: In other news, House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman, John Kline (R-MN) sent a letter to House Appropriators asking for increased federal investments in IDEA. The President’s FY 2013 budget proposal would bring the federal contribution of the national average IDEA per pupil expenditure to just 15.8 percent. This is far below the 40 percent per pupil expenditure that was promised by the federal government when IDEA became law. Chairman Kline asks for the increased investment in IDEA to be paid for from a reduction of spending in Race to The Top, Investments in Innovation, School Improvement Grants and Striving Readers.