Did the House actually reject President Trump's budget proposal for education?
Is Ivanka Trump really the new leading advocate for career and technical education?
How about that pesky PROSPER Act? Is it on the House floor agenda for a vote?
This morning the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS and Education took the first step toward a FY 2019 spending bill. With all Republicans supporting the bill and all Democrats opposing the bill, and multiple controversial amendments guaranteed for full committee markup next week, the final shape of the bill is yet to be determined. The good news in the bill for education is that multiple programs were either flat funded or increased and the President's request to cut education funding by almost $8 billion was rejected. The bill increases education funding for the Department of Education by $43 million over FY 2018.
The bad news is that the bill overall received no increase over last year, so the Departments of Labor and HHS took numerous hits. This is a key reason why Democrats opposed the bill. They argued that they should have gotten an increased allocation for the total bill, commensurate what that provided to other subcommittees, of about $2 billion. In fact the Senate subcommittee's allocation is $2 billion over last year.
While the tables that list specific programs will not be available until next week, we do have some information about key programs. For example:
|Title I, ESSA:||Flat funding at $16.4 billion|
|Special Education, Part B:||up $50 million to $12.3 billion|
|Impact Aid:||up $52 million to $1.47 billion|
|Title IIA, ESSA:||Flat funding at $2.05 billion|
|Title IVA, ESSA:||up $100 million to $1.2 billion|
|Charter schools:||up $50 million to $450 million|
|TRIO programs:||up $50 million to $1.1 billion|
|GEAR UP:||up $10 million to $360 million|
|Institute for Education Sciences:||Flat funding at $613 million|
|Special Ed Research:||Flat funding at $56 million|
|Office for Civil Rights:||Flat funding at $117 million|
|Personnel Prep IDEA:||up $5.3 million to $89 million|
|State Personnel Development IDEA:||up $1.4 million to $41 million|
|Teacher Quality Partnership Grants:||Flat funding at $43 million|
In the last couple of weeks, House Republican leaders have been counting votes to see if they have enough support to bring the PROSPER Act to the House floor for a vote. The results of "whip votes" (informal internal vote counts) are not public, and it is unknown if/when the bill will move to the floor. Opposition continues to increase with the Department of Defense opposing the bill as well as multiple veterans groups. In addition, student body presidents of the Big Ten universities wrote to Congress opposing the bill. Since the House leadership experienced a public failure of the farm bill after bringing it to the floor last month, they are likely cautious about another embarrassment.
However, the alert continues, as things can change quickly and Chairwoman Foxx (R-NC) continues to look for support from her colleagues and promote the bill with House leadership.
The PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508) is a bill which reauthorizes the Higher Education Act and eliminates every provision targeted to support teacher candidates, educator preparation and transformative programs, such as residencies, loan forgiveness and TEACH grants. The bill was passed out of the Committee on Education and the Workforce last December with all Republicans supporting it and all Democrats opposing it. Needless to say, it is a totally partisan bill. It represents federal policy that will exacerbate the teacher shortage as well as lowered enrollment in teacher preparation programs around the country.
This is a good time to let your Representatives know of your concerns with the bill. You can do that by going to AACTE's advocacy center; just click below. This will be one minute very well spent!!
Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced that the long awaited markup of a bill to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act will take place June 20. President Trump's daughter, Ivanka, has been meeting with Senators to "discuss the urgency" of reauthorizing this bill. President Trump tweeted that she "Had great mtgs w/ @Senator Enzi @DougJones @Senator Hassan & @Senator Baldiwn to advance this critical leg & ensure access to high-quality vocation ed for 11M+ Americans!" Sen. Alexander responded tweeting "Thank you @IvankaTrump for your leadership to update this important law for students and adult workers."
The bill has been languishing since June 2017 when the House passed a bipartisan bill (HR 2353) to reauthorize the law. A key sticking point has been how much authority the Secretary of Education would have over enforcement. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) have been leading negotiations to come up with a bipartisan bill since the House passed their version of the reauthorization bill a year ago. The hope is that the bill the Senate considers will be bipartisan.
Have a great weekend! I'll be attending the high school basketball tournament my son is running. For basketball fans, check it out: https://capitolhoops.com/?p=7020
Happy Father's day to all!
See you at @janewestdc