Despite the debt ceiling deal, which was enacted June 3 and sets the overall fiscal year 2024 federal funding level at roughly fiscal year 2023’s funding level, House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger, a Republican from Texas, issued a statement on June 12 that the committee would be using fiscal year 2022 levels as the basis for fiscal year 2024 appropriations. This is apparently an effort to mollify House conservatives, who were angry about the debt ceiling deal between Speaker McCarthy and President Biden and essentially shut down the House floor recently.
Continuing down a dangerous path of proposed cuts for fiscal year 2024 – 20%-30% by administration and Department of Education estimates – means critical education programs are going to get caught in the crosshairs.
If these funding levels hold, education programs could be again facing double-digit percentage cuts next year.
This lower level of spending will be a no-go for Senate Democrats and perhaps some Senate Republicans, who were already upset by agreed upon fiscal year 2024 defense increases that were smaller than they wanted. So, while the House may move fiscal year 2024 spending bills pegged to fiscal year 2022 spending levels, the Senate will not.
Appropriations Chairwoman Granger’s announcement raises the prospect of a potential government shutdown for some or all of the federal government if fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills are not enacted by September 30. Of late, federal shutdowns have been prevented by passing continuing resolutions to keep the government operating temporarily but it is unclear if House Republicans would be willing to agree to continuing resolutions this year.
As of now, neither the House nor the Senate has set dates to mark-up their versions of the fiscal year 2024 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill. The House mark-up could come as soon as next week. This latest declaration about spending levels by Rep. Granger, though, may delay further the Senate’s mark-up schedule.Educators need to let Congress know that 20%-30% cuts would be devastating. Make your voice heard by sending an email to your members of Congress. Click To Tweet
Educators need to let Congress know that 20%-30% cuts would be devastating. Make your voice heard by sending an email to your members of Congress. It’s easy. Just visit Learning Forward advocacy for a sample letter that you can personalize very easily and quickly.
Can we count on your voice? Join Learning Forward CEO Frederick Brown Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 1 p.m. EDT for a virtual Capitol Hill briefing, “Professional Learning IS stronger schools: Title II-A funding and the federal education budget.” This policy briefing addresses urgent issues around building a strong, unwavering federal commitment to ensuring access to high-quality professional learning to all educators.
Kevin Armstrong, a Tennessee principal representing National Association of Elementary School Principals
Gladys Cruz representing AASA, The School Superintendents Association
Marla Ucelli-Kashyap, American Federation of Teachers’ senior director for educational issues
Maureen Tracey-Mooney, U.S. Department of Education