Last night, the lead House and Senate Appropriators, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), released a $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The omnibus appropriations bill combines all of the 12 individual appropriations bills into one large 1,582 page spending that covers every facet of federal spending including investments in education.
Within the $1.1 trillion dollar package, $156.8 billion was allocated to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee to divvy up to the various programs under its jurisdiction. $70.6 billion of this allocation went to the Department of Education. This is $739 million below the FY13 post-sequester level.
While not all sequester cuts were restored to every education program, NASSP was pleased to see that the bill places a priority on formula funded programs of importance to NASSP members such as Title I, IDEA and Career and Technical Education State Grants. As you may recall, NASSP and NAESP sent a joint letter to House and Senate appropriators outlining our organizations’ priorities in the omnibus spending bill. Here’s how our priorities fared in the bill:
Title I grants to local education agencies received $624,583 million back from the FY13 post-sequester levels to put it at $14.38 billion for FY 2014. This is still below the FY 2012 level of $14.5.
IDEA state grants received $11.47 billion in the FY 2014 omnibus. This is approximately $500 million more than the FY 13 post-sequester level, however like Title I the FY14 allocation is still below its FY 12 level.
Unfortunately, the School Leadership Program was cut from its FY13 post-sequester level of $27.6 million to $25.8 million. The FY14 level is a $3.3 million dollar cut from FY12. This is extremely disappointing considering the President requested $98 million in his FY14 budget proposal and currently less than 4 percent of Title II “allowable use” funding currently goes to principal professional development.
Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program
The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program received $158 million in the FY14 omnibus bill. This is a $6.6 million increase from the FY13 post-sequester level, while still not back to its FY12 level.
Career and Technical Education State Grants
Like most of our other priorities, Career and Technical Education State Grants received an increase from the FY13 post-sequester level. CTE state grants were funded at $1.12 billion for FY14. This is a $53 million dollar increase from FY13, but does not return the program to its FY12 funding level.
Enhancing Education Through Technology
Unfortunately, this program still remains unfunded.
Early Childhood Education
The big winner in the omnibus for education is Head Start. It received an addition $1 billion over its sequester-level funding to top out at $8.6 billion for FY14. The omnibus bill also provides $250 million in an early learning Race to the Top grant program for states to develop and enhance pre-K opportunities for 4-year olds.
Another program that received more funding than its FY12 level was the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities National Programs. The program supports school safety and climate initiatives such as alcohol abuse reduction, drug and violence prevention and education, and school emergency preparedness activities. This grant program received $90 million in the FY14 omnibus, which is $25 million more than its FY12 level.
The omnibus is likely to reach the House floor as early as Wednesday and then proceed to the Senate for final passage on Thursday or Friday. The House passed a three day extension of the FY13 Continuing Resolution (CR) by voice vote Tuesday afternoon, with the Senate to follow to provide enough time for the omnibus to pass when the current CR expires on Saturday.