Congress reaches a budget deal with many wins for summer funding

December 18, 2019

Congress reaches a budget deal with many wins for summer funding

Rachel Gwaltney, VP, Policy and Research, NSLA

This week the House and Senate came to agreement on a $1.3 trillion budget deal to fund all twelve Departments for FY20, expected to be passed in two parts. The first bill funds Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce-Justice-Science and Financial Services. The second bill funds Agriculture, Labor-HHS-Education, Energy/Water, Interior/Environment, State/Foreign Operations, Transportation/HUD, Military Construction/VA and the Legislative Branch. The President will have to sign both bills into law by December 20 to avert a partial or total federal government shut down when the current continuing resolution expires.

Once again, Congress has rejected the President’s proposal to eliminate or reduce funding for many critical programs that serve youth and families, and the budget deal includes many key increases for summer learning and enrichment programs in the second bill (Labor-HHS-Education Departments):

  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers is funded at $1.25 billion, an increase of $28 million above the 2019 enacted level. The program will also be renamed the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, in honor of Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). Congresswoman Lowey announced her retirement from Congress earlier this year. She is a long-time champion of out-of-school time programs, Head Start, and other key programs for youth and families, and her voice and leadership will be missed.
  • Title I of ESSA is funded at $16.310 billion, an increase of $450 million above the 2019 enacted level.
  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV-A of ESSA) is funded at $1.210 billion, an increase of $40 million above the 2019 enacted level.
  • Full Service Community Schools is funded at $25 million, an increase of $8 million.
  • TRIO is funded at $1.090 billion, an increase of $30 million above the 2019 enacted level. GEAR UP is funded at $365 million, an increase of $5 million above the 2019 enacted level.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps) is funded at $1.1 billion, an increase of $21 million above the 2019 enacted level. The president’s budget proposed to eliminate CNCS and included $94 million to close CNCS’s doors.
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (child care subsidies) is funded at $5.826 billion, an increase of $550 million; supporting child care for children ages birth through 12.

Some additional program wins of note:

  • Education, Innovation, and Research is funded at $190 million, an increase of $60 million above the 2019 enacted level. $65 million of EIR funds are dedicated for studying STEM education. Also, the budget includes $65 million in new funds to study evidence-based innovations that address student social and emotional learning needs.
  • Career, Technical Education (CTE) is funded at $1.283 billion, an increase of $20 million. The Perkins CTE legislation includes programs that offer CTE learning to children as early as fifth grade and can be done during out-of-school time.
  • Career Pathways for Youth Grants: The bill provides $10,000,000 to utilize the demonstration grant authority under the dislocated worker national reserve for grants to support national out-of-school-time organizations that serve youth and teens. It also places an emphasis on age-appropriate workforce readiness programming to expand job training and workforce pathways for youth and disconnected youth, including soft skill development, career exploration, job readiness and certification, summer jobs, year-round job opportunities, and apprenticeships. Funding also will support partnerships between workforce investment boards and youth-serving organizations.
  • A new Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative is funded at $123 million to support SEL and “whole child” approaches to education.

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. Subscribe to NSLA’ Policy & Advocacy newsletter to get regular email updates on federal and state policy news.

As Vice President for Policy and Research, Rachel Gwaltney leads NSLA’s efforts to improve federal and state policy conditions for summer activities; and to develop, steward, and share research related to summer opportunities.

Keep All Kids Healthy and Learning

Now more than ever, communities need your support to expand access to summer and afterschool programs that will help students catch up on unfinished learning and thrive after an extraordinarily challenging school year.

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