FY2019 Education Funding
The Trump/DeVos FY2019 budget proposal slashed education funding by $2.6 billion. Fortunately, both the House and Senate Labor-HHS-Education bills for FY2019 flatly rejected DeVos’ request to cut important programs like Title II, which provides professional development for educators and reduces class sizes, to fund her school privatization agenda.
Ahead of the September 30, 2018 deadline, the House and Senate conferenced each of their bills to pass a final FY2019 Labor-HHS-Education bill. We had urged Congress to prioritize education funding increases for critical programs, like those targeting the students most in need, to help insure that all students have access to a high-quality education, resulting in the following for FY2019:
- Title I ($16.5 billion, a $100 million increase over FY2018)
- IDEA ($13.2 billion, a $96 million increase over FY2018)
- After-school 21st Century Community Learning Centers ($1.2 billion, a $10 million increase over FY18)
- English-language learners ($737 million, flat-funded compared to FY2018)
On September 28, 2018, the president signed into law a “minibus” of two bills – Labor-HHS-Education and Defense, which joined another 3-bill minibus. The remaining seven appropriations bills were a part of a Continuing Resolution (CR) package to temporarily fund the remaining departments and agencies at FY2018 funding levels through December 7, 2018.
Looking Ahead to the Next Congress
Looking ahead to the 116th Congress, Congress should again get rid of the arbitrary budget caps on education funding. Without an agreement to adjust the budget caps, non-defense discretionary spending from which education programs are funding, would be cut by $55 billion (yes, billion).
Nearly 51 million children attending public schools, the highest number in many years, and one in five live in poverty. Yet, major funding gaps remain. For example, for the 2017-2018 school year:
- Public schools received $3.7 billion, or 19 percent, less for Title I students than they did in 2010.
- The federal share of IDEA funding was the lowest since 2001 – just 14.6 percent, far short of the 40 percent Congress promised to provide.
Even with recent small increases, Congress must make a long-term commitment to closing the funding gaps for programs serving the students most in need.