Congress agrees on FY19 education budget, with wins for summer learning!
Update: On Tuesday Sept. 18 the Senate passed the bill approving the agreed-to education budget. The bill now goes back to the House for a final vote, and then to the President’s desk for signature. Congress is facing a Sept. 30 deadline to pass bills funding the government, otherwise a shutdown will start on Oct. 1.
On Thursday Sept. 13, the House and Senate leadership came to a final conference agreement for the “minibus bill” that includes Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education funding for the 2019 fiscal year, ahead of the September 30 deadline. The Senate is expected to vote on the final package next week, before sending it to the President’s desk for signature.
Overall, the bill funds the Department of Education at nearly $71.5 billion, which is $581 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Several wins for summer learning are found in the bill:
- The 21st Century Community Learning Center program is funded at $1.2 billion, a $10 million increase.
- Student Support and Academic Enrichment (Title IV-A) grants are funded at $1.17 billion, a $70 million increase. However, the bill does not include language banning the use of these funds to purchase guns and firearms training. NSLA has signed on to a letter asking the Department of Education to issue guidance to clarify that Title IV-A funds should be used for their original intent, not firearms.
- Title I funding for school districts that serve low-income students is funded at $15.9 billion, a $125 million increase.
- The maximum Pell Grant is funded at $6,195, a $100 increase from the current maximum award. The TRIO program would increase by $50 million.
- The AmeriCorps state grants are funded at $425 million, a $13 million increase.
- The Full Service Community Schools program is funded at a new high of $17.5 million.
- The Child Care and Development Block Grant is funded at $5.3 billion, a $50 million increase. The deal also includes a $70 million increase for career and technical education programs, which are now funded at $1.3 billion.
These wins came because of you! Summer learning advocates and our partners have been vocal in letting Congress know that President Trump’s budget cuts and eliminated programs are not the will of the people, and Congress has responded with strong support for these critical programs.
Keep your eye on NSLA’s Take Action page for updated action alerts on important federal legislation that affects summer learning.
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.