Federal Education Funding

NAESP believes that improving our education system is critical to the future well-being of our nation. Investing in education strengthens the entire economy, and must be made a high priority. Schools struggle to handle increased student enrollments and the need for additional special services as student populations become more diverse and as school budgets continue to decline during these difficult economic times.

NAESP advocates for increased federal funding for cornerstone programs that have the most impact in our nation’s schools. Title I grants, the main source of funding for No Child Left Behind, helps low-income and disadvantaged students improve their academic performance. This, along with IDEA grants, which fund services for special education, cannot meet the demand for these services and have been underfunded by the federal government for decades.

The influx of one-time Title I stimulus funding ended at the start of the current school year, just as the number of low-income students reached record levels. Since over 90 percent for the nation’s school districts participate in the Title I program, this leaves funding shortages for critical services for students most at need.

When IDEA was first enacted in 1975, the Federal Government promised to provide 40 percent of the excess cost to fund special education services. This promise has never been fulfilled, and the federal share of funding special education services in 2013 sits at just 14.9 percent.

Fiscal Year 2014 Education Funding Resources

House Committee Approves Nearly 20 Percent Cut to Education Funding: House Republicans have assigned overall funding amounts to the annual appropriations bills that fund domestic spending and foreign aid for the upcoming fiscal year at extremely low levels not seen since 2004. The Labor, Health & Human Services, Education spending bill would provide about 18.6 percent less than current funding levels, which include budget cuts from sequestration. Cuts of this magnitude would be devastating and nearly quadruple the impact of sequestration on education funding. Read NAESP's blog for further details of the House education funding bill.

The dramatic differences in priorities and spending levels expected between the House and Senate will create insurmountable hurdles to reach any workable compromise on many of the Fiscal Year 2014 funding bills. As a result, Congress will almost certainly need to pass a continuing resolution -- a continuation of current funding levels. This year however, such a bill will require modifications to reach the lower overall spending limits set into law for Fiscal Year 2014, as compared to Fiscal Year 2013, likely resulting in even more partisan political battles.

Funding Allocations for the Labor- Health & Human Services-Education Appropriations Legislation (In millions)

House and Senate 302(b) Allocations (In millions) FY 2013 Enacted, before Sequestration FY 2014 President Request FY 2014 House Allocation FY 2014 Senate Allocation Change in House Allocation Change in Senate Allocation % Change in House % Change in Senate
Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Appropriations Bill Funding Allocation $156,556 $165,802 $121,797 $164,330 $-34,759 $7,774 -22.2% 5%
Sources: House and Senate press releases

NAESP Expresses Concerns with House Education Funding Bill, Urges an Open Debate of Expected Budget Cuts On July 29, 2013 NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) expressed concern with the Fiscal Year 2014 Labor-Health & Human Services-Education appropriations bill in a formal letter to the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee. The House Subcomittee that controls education funding delayed their consideration of the 2014 funding bill, originally scheduled for July 25. The programmatic details of the bill will not be released until the Subcommittee considers the legislation. In the letter to appropriators, NAESP and NASSP stated that “school principals, education stakeholders and the public deserve to know how the Committee would fund federal education programs,” and urged the Subcommittee to have an “open debate about deep cuts in education funding by holding a Subcommittee markup.”

Over 900 Organizations Ask for Robust Fiscal Year 2014 Education Funding: NAESP joined with 920 national and state organizations asking that the FY 2014 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill receive the highest possible top-level funding allocation, known as the 302(b) funding level. In February, 2013 NAESP also joined with over 3,200 national and state organizations asking that a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to discretionary programs. Read this full letter and see the list of signatories here.

NAESP Supports Increased Funding for Students with Disabilities: NAESP supports a slight increase in funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), as compared to recent funding levels. When calculating the federal share of additional costs to educate students with special needs, the federal government currently funds 15.4 percent of the cost, well below the authorized 40 percent of the federal commitment. By requesting $12 billion for IDEA in Fiscal Year 2014, the federal share could be bumped to 15.95 percent.

NAESP opposed cuts to IDEA in a May, 2013 letter to Members of the House Appropriations Committee, which would result if the House FY 2014 spending bill for the U.S. Department of Education became law.

NAESP Applauds the Focus on Early Childhood, Principal Professional Development, School Safety and Mental Health in the Administration's Budget: President Obama released an ambitious education budget to Congress that will provide an overall 4 percent funding increase to the Department of Education. The proposal seeks to ensure that all children come to school ready to learn, that teachers and principals will be afforded additional professional development, and that schools have the means to begin to address school safety and mental health issues. Read NAESP's statement on the Administration's budget proposal, and find a summary of the president's budget request, including funding levels and a list of new programs here.

NAESP enthusiastically supports the portion of the plan to provide $98 million for principal professional development, which would triple the investment in Title II funds for the School Leadership Program (SLP) in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

NAESPs Archive of Fiscal Year 2013 Resources and Information: Click here

Other Funding Resources

Committee for Education Funding
NAESP is a member of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), the largest and oldest education coalition in the nation. CEF’s mission is to promote robust financial support for our nation’s education system and represents education associations, institutions, agencies and organizations whose interests range from preschool to postgraduate education in both private and public systems.

CEF publishes an annual Budget Briefing book, which includes details on the president’s FY 2014 budget request as well as details on every authorized education program including a description of the program, the historic funding levels and the program funding need. Because of the length of the Budget Response, each section is posted separately:

The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.

U.S. Department of Education Budget

U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee

Education Week