Summer Learning Advocates Policy Update: Big Wins for Summer Learning in FY18 Spending Bill!
This week Congress passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to prevent a government shutdown and fund the government for the FY18 fiscal year. Despite the president’s call to eliminate many key education spending programs, we were able to secure major wins for summer learning funding, thanks in large part to your outreach to Republican and Democratic champions in Congress.
The omnibus budget deal:
- Increases 21st Century Community Learning Centers by $20 million, to $1.21 billion. These programs support student achievement by providing academic assistance, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, physical activities, healthy meals and snacks, robotics, computer programming, college-and job-readiness, substance abuse prevention, community service, opportunities for hands-on learning and much more.
- Increases Title IV Part A of ESSA, Student Support Academic Enrichment Grants by $700 million, to $1.1 billion. These are flexible funds that can be used to support health and safety programs, well-rounded education programs, and the effective use of education technology.
- Increases funding for some Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) programs. AmeriCorps State and National Grants is funded at $412 million, an increase of $25 million. VISTA is maintained at $92.364 million. These grants provide vital human capacity for summer learning programs.
- Increases funding for Full Service Community Schools by $7.5 million, to $17.5 million. These grants support local community schools that must include summer learning programs and other wraparound services for students and families.
- Increases the maximum federal Pell Grant award for award year 2018-19 by $175, to $6,095 per student. This improves the opportunity for student to use Pell funds for year-round study. Read our new research brief on year-round Pell grants here.
- Increases funding for Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by $300 million, to $15.76 billion. Title I funds are a significant funding stream for district-based summer programs.
Additional funding streams that include summer learning opportunities also received strong support from Congress, which maintained or increased funding for programs including Title II of ESSA, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, education research grants, GEAR UP, and career/technical education. The bill provides an overall increase to the Department of Education of $3.9 billion over FY17 spending levels.
Director of Policy and Partnerships
National Summer Learning Association
Stay up to date on the latest federal and state policy activities, action alerts, and wins affecting summer opportunities by joining the Common Grounds affinity group: Summer Learning Advocates.