Budget Blast: House Budget Adds but Taketh Away

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On Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor-HHS-Education passed their appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). The proposed bill would cut the federal education budget down to $66B – a reduction of $2.4B from FY17. While certainly better than President Trump’s $9.2B proposed cut, the FY18 House Proposal would make some dramatic changes.

Not included in this proposal is the President’s $1B public school choice program (FOCUS) or the $250M in state grants for private school choice. In fact, the Education and Innovation Research program which was the vehicle for the private school choice grants is eliminated entirely. 

The bulk of the cut comes from the elimination of ESSA’s Title II program. A $2B program, Title II provides funding support for educator professional development, class size reduction, and educator recruitment and mentoring. This chart from the NEA shows the state-by-state impact of Title II elimination.  Another major cut includes $200M from After School programs (21st Century Community Schools).

“Winners” in this proposal are the Title I grants, charter school grants, and the Title IV block grant. While Title I grants are flat funded from FY17 to FY18, charter school grants would get a $28M boost to $370M total and the Title IV block grants would increase $100M to a total of $500M.

SIIA released this statement on the House proposed bill.

What’s Next?
The full House Appropriations Committee will need to take up this bill before it moves to the House floor, but is not likely to encounter much resistance in the Republican-controlled House.

The Senate still has not released its budget proposal for education.

Brendan Brendan Desetti is SIIA's Director of Education Policy. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @SIIAbrendan and find relevant national, federal, and state policy and program information in SIIA’s Ed Policy Forum.