NAESP Pushes to Preserve Federal Education Funding

Educators and students have already made too many sacrifices in schools, and they have too many pressing needs to suffer any further reduction in federal funding.

As you’ve probably seen in recent news headlines, House Republican leaders, Senate Democrats, and the White House have agreed on a top-line funding number for the FY24 budget, which essentially maintains overall funding at the FY23 level. In other words, there was no overall funding cut this year. That’s the big takeaway and good news. But finalizing the deal will take several weeks while important small-bore funding decisions are made.

Right now, congressional appropriators are setting the specific funding levels for all federal agencies and programs, including, of course all of the K-12 programs like Title I and IDEA. Appropriators are not necessarily keeping funding for every program at the same level as last year. And because the total funding amount is the same as last year, any increase in an individual program’s funding requires a corresponding reduction in funding in another program. In other words, the size of the pie this year remains the same as last year, but if some of the new slices are made bigger then some of the other slices will have to be smaller.

The nature of this zero-sum game is why it is so important for school leaders to contact their members of Congress right now to preserve funding for federal education programs at their existing levels (at a minimum). Our students and staff have already made plenty of sacrifices in recent years. Our schools have too many pressing needs to suffer any reduction in funding. The reality is more investments are necessary but we can settle for the same. We can’t endure less.

Please send your members of Congress a quick, pre-drafted email message through our NAESP Legislative Action Center asking them to keep K-12 program funding at current levels.

David Griffith is associate executive director of Policy and Advocacy at NAESP.