Some questions:

What does the new Senate Committee bill reveal about education funding for next year?

Could it be that bipartisanship can still move bills in the Senate?

Will you be visiting with your Members of Congress over the July 4 recess period?

Washington Update, June 29, 2018


Dear Colleagues:

With the stunning trifecta of Supreme Court announcements this week - decision on Trump's immigration policy, decision on union dues/membership and announcement of Justice Kennedy's imminent retirement - Congressional Republicans left for the July recess energized for the upcoming election as Democrats left scrambling to regain balance and election optimism. With Senate Leader Mitch McConnell promising a vote on a new Supreme Court nominee before the November election, the congressional agenda for the rest of the year promises to be hyper partisan. Ironically, however, 2 bouts of bipartisanship broke out in the Senate this week. First came the HELP Committee's unanimous adoption of the Career and Technical Education reauthorization bill and then the Appropriations Committee's bipartisan adoption of the last of its 12 spending bills - the one including education funding

1. Senate Education Funding Bill Increases Education Spending from Last Year; Rejects Trump Budget Proposal

Like the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Labor/HHS/Education, the Senate subcommittee and full committee rejected President Trump's education budget proposal and increased overall spending for the Department of Education. Neither the House nor Senate bills include the President's proposed new choice/voucher programs. Both bills increase overall education spending - the House subcommittee bill by $43 million and the Senate Committee bill by $541 million. President Trump called for a cut to the Department of Education of almost $8 billion.

The chart below features funding levels for some key education programs in both bills:

  Current level 2018 President's request House Subcommittee Senate Committee
Title I ESSA 15.76 B 15.46 B 15.76 B 15.8 B
IDEA Part B 12.28 B 12 B 12.33 B 12.4 B
Title IIA, ESSA 2.056 B 0 2.056 B 2.056 B
IES 613 M 522 M 613 M 615 M
Special Ed Research (Under IES) 56 M 54 M 56 M 56 M
Office of Civil Rights 117 M 107 M 117 M 125 M
Personnel Prep IDEA 84 M 84 M 89 M 84 M
State Personnel Dev. IDEA 39 M 39 M 41 M 39 M
Teacher Quality Partnership Grants 43 M 0 43 M 43 M

Committee reports for both bills include significant directives to the Department of Education. Among them: In addition, both the House and Senate bills include language preventing Sec. DeVos from dismantling the Department of Education's central budget office as she had proceeded to do.

The next step in the process is for the House Committee on Appropriations to move its bill, the last of the 12 bills to go through Committee. That markup was postponed last week in the midst of concern over it becoming a lightning rod for the immigration policy of separating children from their families. That markup has not yet been rescheduled. Both chambers are pursuing the goal of finalizing all 12 appropriations bills before the September 30 deadline. The Labor/HHS/Education bill is always the most controversial, and one of the largest, so stay tuned for further developments this summer. If indeed this bill passes both bodies and goes through conference to the President's desk, it will be a truly remarkable victory for bipartisanship and regular order.

Senate Committee bill:

House Committee report:

2. Senate HELP Committee Approves Career and Technical Education Bill

With first daughter Ivanka Trump sitting in the front row of the HELP Committee markup, the long delayed reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act sailed through Committee. The bill was backed by the White House, the National Governor's Association and several education organizations, with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, opposing it as too prescriptive and calling it "a relic of the No Child Left Behind era." Both Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) praised the bill. The House passed its companion bill last year - HR 2353- with bipartisan support; the Senate HELP Committee had been stymied for months trying to come to a compromise on their version of the bill. The Senate HELP Committee bill features the following new provisions:


3. New Resources for Educators

Congress returns the week of July 9. Try to find an opportunity to meet with your Senators and Representatives while they are back home next week. It's an election year and they are seeking your vote. Don't forget: "you hire 'em and you fire 'em!"

 Happy July 4!

Have a great weekend,and see you at @janewestdc



Jane E. West Ph.D.
Education Policy Consultant
Cell: 202.812.9096
Twitter: @janewestdc

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