The highlights

  • The Senate is moving forward with a FY 2022 funding appropriation bill that includes the Department of Education. It will be a critical piece of the negotiations.
  • The House bill contains a $150 million increase for Title II-A while the Senate bill contains only a $50 million increase.
  • Learning Forward and its stakeholders will push hard for Congress to adopt the House’s larger increase.
  • This is the time to remind Congress of the value of Title II-A in attracting and retaining educators by ensuring that all receive the professional learning support that they need and desire.
  • Click here to advocate for Title II funding.

 

The full story

This week, the Senate finally began to move forward with determining Fiscal Year 2022 funding for the Department of Education by releasing its version of the Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill. While this is progress, it comes very late – nearly three weeks after Fiscal Year 2022 began and months after the House had passed its version – and Congress has many more steps to take before FY22 education funding becomes law. It is important to note that this bill will likely not go through the regular committee mark-up process, which is followed by a full Senate floor vote, because Congress lacks the time to operate in so-called “regular order.” Instead, House and Senate Appropriators will jump straight to negotiations on a final, conferenced bill, with this Senate bill and the House’s approved bill serving as the bases for negotiations on a final.

From Learning Forward’s perspective, the House and Senate version of the education spending bills both include much to support. The Senate bill contains significant increases for nearly every K-12 education program but at lower funding levels than the House approved version provided. For instance, the Senate bill would increase funding for the Department of Education by $24.9 billion, approximately $4.4 billion below what the House approved and what President Biden requested in his proposed budget. More specifically, the House bill contains a $150 million increase for the Title II-A educator professional development program while the Senate bill would pare than increase back to $50 million. Although both figures would represent significant increases for Title II-A and demonstrate strong Congressional support for a program that was on the brink of elimination just a few years ago, Learning Forward will push hard for Congress to adopt the House’s larger increase.

We anticipate that FY 22 funding negotiations will occur over the next two months as Congress works to complete its work before the current Continuing Resolution, a temporary budget measure that was passed last month to keep the government operating, runs out on December 3rd. Thus, this is the time to remind Congress of the value of Title II-A to attracting and retaining educators to the profession by ensuring that all are receiving the professional learning support that they need and desire.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Collect information about how much money your district receives in Title II funding and how it is allocated.
  2. Compile your data and have your story ready to share when the time is right.
  3. Spread the word to your colleagues that we are going to need their support in reaching out to members of Congress.
  4. Stay tuned for the launch of Learning Forward’s all-hands-on-deck advocacy campaign to push for lawmakers to support the larger House-proposed number in their final negotiations.

 

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Melinda George at melinda.george@learningforward.org.

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Bernstein Strategy Group’s Founder and President, has over 25 years of experience in education, technology, privacy, appropriations, and telecommunications policy. Jon began his Washington, DC tenure in 1994 as a Legislative Fellow for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). He later became legislative counsel for The Lightspan Partnership, an educational software company. In 1997, Jon moved on to lobby for the National Education Association, leaving there in 1999 to commence work for the Federal Communications Commission. He departed the Commission in 2001 to begin work in private practice and launched BSG in 2005. Today, Jon works closely with many of the major K-12 education associations as co-chair of both the Education and Libraries Networks Coalition and the Homework Gap Big Tent Coalition and as Executive Director of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training. He also helps lead the Principals Group, which focuses on professional development funding and related issues. He received his BA from Colgate University and his JD from the Northwestern University Law School.