How Are NASSP’s Priorities Faring During the Appropriations Process?

Earlier this year, congressional leaders in both the House and Senate stated their intent to pass all 12 appropriations bills to avoid another end-of-year budget package—a process often referred to as “regular order,” which hasn’t been done since 1996. In late June, House and Senate Appropriations  subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) both released their spending bills. Below is a quick breakdown of how these bills address some of NASSP’s top priorities, and an update on what their current status is:

Senate

The Senate Labor-HHS-Ed bill would boost funding for the Education Department (ED) by $541 million. NASSP’s top priorities received:

  • Title I — $125 million increase to $15.9 billion
  • Title II — Level funded from FY 2018 at $2.1 billion
  • Title IV — $125 million increase to $1.225 billion
  • IDEA Grants to States — $125 million increase to $12.4 billion
  • Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants — Level funded from FY 2018 at $190 million
  • Career and Technical Education State Grants — Level funded from FY 2018 at $1.19 billion

The Senate bill has already been marked up and passed through the Appropriations Committee. It now awaits a vote on the Senate floor where it could potentially be packaged with other spending bills to help ensure its passage.

House

The House Labor-HHS-Ed bill would boost funding for ED by $43 million. NASSP’s top priorities received:

  • Title I — Level funded from FY 2018 at $15.76 billion
  • Title II — Level funded from FY 2018 at $2.1 billion
  • Title IV — $100 million increase to $1.2 million
  • IDEA Grants to States — $50 million increase to $12.32 billion
  • Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants — Level funded from FY 2018 at $190 million
  • Career and Technical Education State Grants — $100 million increase to $1.29 billion

The House bill has been marked up in the Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations subcommittee, but has not been marked up in the full Appropriations Committee. Once it is approved by the committee, it will then head to the House floor for a vote.

Overall, these numbers are extremely positive for educators, especially for Title II. This program was completely eliminated in the House’s FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Ed bill and in President Trump’s FY 2018 and FY 2019 budgets. To see this program level funded in both chambers displays the effects that NASSP and its members have had on programs that benefit our nation’s educators and students. However, the fight is not yet over, as both bills still need to survive the amendment process on the floor and pass through both chambers. There is still time to contact your members and inform them that you want to see strong federal investments in these programs throughout the remainder of the appropriations process.

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