Report details what programs cut, some additions in updated 2010-11 federal budget
From the NSBA Advocacy Team
Congress Passes Final Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations Bill
The President signed into law the final appropriations bill (H.R. 1473) for FY 2011 on April 15, which will fund the remaining six months of the fiscal year.
While the law does not impose the range of cuts to domestic programs that was debated earlier this year, it does reduce funding for several programs across most federal agencies by more than $38 billion, including the U.S. Department of Education.
In addition, elementary and secondary education programs are subject to a 0.2% across-the-board cut that could total approximately $836 million. The FY2011 Continuing Resolution directs the Department of Education and other agencies to submit in-depth expenditure or operating plans to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees within 30 days of the bill’s enactment “for fiscal year 2011 at a level of detail below the account level.” Therefore, the exact funding levels for programs including Title I grants, special education (IDEA) and Impact Aid may not be available from the Department until mid-May.
The law also directs the Department of Education to share findings from program evaluations of Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees “including impact evaluations and interim progress evaluations, of activities conducted using funds previously obligated” under the economic stimulus.
While the law continues funding for newer competitive grant programs and provides increases for early childhood education, it reduces and eliminates funding for other education programs.
Specifically, $700 million is provided for another round of Race to the Top competitive grants program to states, as well as a new grant program for “improving early childhood care and education” that would be administered jointly between the Departments of Education and Health & Human Services. Based on the law’s provisions, grants would be available to states to help create and improve high-quality early learning programs and services and increase enrollment among infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. The program would be based on earlier legislation that NSBA supported in FY2010 for an Early Learning Challenge Fund.
Other program increases include $150 million for another round of grants under the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, a $20 million increase for Promise Neighborhoods grants ($30 million total), and a $340 million increase for Head Start ($7.56 billion total).
Program cuts listed within the law include a $475 million reduction to Teacher Quality State Grants (remaining funding approximately $2.46 billion). Within this program, a new component of competitive grants totally approximately $29 million would be available to groups that provide teacher certification services. (One of the previous FY2011 short-term continuing resolutions eliminated specific funding for teacher certification boards.)
Other program reductions/eliminations include:
• the elimination of the Enhancing Education Through Technology State Grants ($100 million);
• a $138 million reduction to Career and Technical Education grants, which may include the elimination of the Tech Prep component that supports a transition from high school to postsecondary institutions for academic education and career/technical training and education;
• elimination of Smaller Learning Communities ($88 million);
• a $79 million cut to Safe and Drug-Free Schools National Programs;
• elimination of the Striving Readers program ($250 million);
• elimination of Arts in Education ($40 million);
• elimination of Even Start ($66.5 million), which helps integrate early childhood education, adult education and parenting programs;
• a $15 million reduction to English Language Acquisition grants (remaining funding approximately $735 million);
• a $10 million reduction to School Improvement grants (remaining funding approximately $535 million); and
• elimination of Reading is Fundamental ($24.8 million).
NSBA will provide an updated chart reflecting the Department’s most recent calculations as soon as possible. Also, NSBA’s letter to Congress regarding H.R. 1473 is available here, which expressed strong opposition to the continuance of the District of Columbia voucher program (see below) and urged Congress to reconsider increases to programs that are competitively funded when cuts are imposed to key programs, such as Title I grants, that benefit more students.
The House of Representatives’ roll call on the passage of H.R. 1473 by a vote of 260 -167 is available here. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 81 to 19.
Funding for Voucher Program for District of Columbia Included in Continuing Resolution for FY 2011
NSBA wants to thank you for responding to our calls to action to defeat the proposal to fund the District of Columbia Voucher program. Despite a broad-based, ongoing lobbying effort by NSBA (in addition to our extensive coalition efforts with the National Coalition for Public Education), the Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 adopted by both the House and Senate on April 14 included an extension and expansion of vouchers in the District of Columbia, as passed by the House in H.R. 471, introduced by House Speaker John Boehner. The voucher program would extend vouchers of up to $7,500 per student, in a set aside of up to $15.5 million per year for the next five years.
Voucher amendments have only been successful as “riders” to CRs, and have not been passed by both chambers as free-standing bills. Only when included in a massive, all-encompassing bill have vouchers been enacted into law. NSBA will keep you apprised of any additional voucher proposals as they surface on Capitol Hill and necessary action steps.
Legislation Introduced to Extend time for Foreign Students with F-1 VISAS to be Enrolled in K-12 Schools
On April 14, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced “Strengthening America’s Public Schools Through Promoting Foreign Investment Act”, S. 823. The bill would permit foreign students with F-1 Visas to be enrolled in elementary and secondary public schools in the United States beyond one year when the local educational agency is reimbursed for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing such education. By extending this provision – already available to students enrolled in postsecondary education programs – to other students, LEAs with less than full capacity enrollment could establish such programs. For those LEAs who wish to take advantage of this legislation, the benefit that would include extended time for academic and cultural exchange as well as increased revenue for the participating LEA. Co-sponsors of this legislation include Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).