Congress passes government spending bill
Date Posted: 12/15/2014
Over the weekend, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill* that will fund most of the federal government through September 2015. The bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, funds the U.S. Department of Education at $70.5 billion. The funding level amounts to a $133 million decrease compared to the Department’s funding last year. Most federal education program funding remained stagnant in comparison to last year, but some programs did receive a slight increase, others experienced cuts, and a handful were completely defunded. Here is a sample of how Pre-K-12 education programs fared:
- Both Title I program funding and funding for state special education grants were increased by $25 million to $14.4 billion and $11.5 billion, respectively.
- Race to the Top, one of President Obama’s signature competitive grant programs for which lawmakers have continually decreased funding in recent years, was eliminated.
- Head Start will maintain the increased funding it received in 2014 with around $8.1 billion.
- Funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund program, a competitive grant program aimed at experimental, district-level performance pay initiatives, was decreased to $230 million (a hit of about $60 million).
- The Child Care Development Block Grant program was increased by $75 million. The increase will help fund updates Congress made to the program last month when the program was reauthorized.
- The Preschool Development Grant program will receive a maintained level of funding at $250 million. Texas applied for a FY 2014 grant through this program but received word last week that it had been denied up to $120 million in funding for preschool expansion. The Texas proposal included a trial voucher program that drew criticism from many education and business advocates.
- Funding for the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program will remain at $506 million. SIG grants are intended to help low-performing schools fund and implement a turnaround model (a plan to “turnaround” or improve the school’s performance) approved by the Secretary of Education.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: June 2, 2023
The HB 100 voucher scheme dies at the end of regular session, plus a special session and the TEA takeover of Houston ISD begin.
From The Texas Tribune: Tension over property taxes produces rare public clash between Dan Patrick, Greg Abbott
Always happy to castigate the Texas House, Patrick breaks form to criticize the governor as misinformed and unsympathetic toward homeowners.
School Finance, Retirement | TRS | Social Security, Texas Legislature, Privatization | Vouchers, Educator Compensation | Benefits
Voucher dies as final weekend of 88th Legislature brings conflict between House and Senate
HB 100 was a casualty of a breakdown in communications between the House and Senate as the regular session drew to a close.