Advocacy

Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Overview

 

The FY 2016 budget process displayed the same uncertainty and turbulence that Washington has come to expect with each new fiscal year.  FY 2015 ended on October 1st with no agreement reached resulting in a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running which lawmakers worked out an agreement.  On October 27 a two-year budget deal was pass that lifted the sequester caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary programs.  This gave appropriators the opportunity to increase funding for several aspects of the budget creating a less contentious environment but it still took Congress until December to negotiate the details of which programs would be increased, level-funding, decreased, or completely eliminated.
NAESP’s advocacy efforts led to several wins in this spending package, including:

  • $500 million increase for Title I grants to LEAs; total now at $14.9 billion
  • $415 million increase for IDEA State grants; total now at $11.9 billion
  • $30 million increase for Striving Readers; total now at $190,000,000
  • $6 million increase for Rural Education; total now at $175,840,000
  • Level funding at $16,368,000 for School Leadership
  • Level funding at $250,000,000 for Preschool Development Grants

There were, however, some disappointments in this spending package, including:

  • Level funding at $2,349,830,000 for Teacher Quality State Grants
  • No funding for Teacher and Principal Pathways Program, a program proposed by President Obama

In addition to the budget deal, lawmakers also agreed on a massive tax extenders package. Of note to NAESP members was an extension of the educator tax deduction of $250, which will now be adjusted for inflation and can also be used toward professional development opportunities.