Federal Education Spending Bill Would Boost Funding for Title IV, Career-Tech

Associate Editor

The education portion of a fiscal 2019 spending bill overwhelmingly approved by the Senate on Tuesday would give boosts—albeit modest ones—to some programs that are closely watched by segments of the education business community. Other programs maintain their current funding levels.

Last week, House and Senate appropriations leaders crafted and approved a $581 million increase for U.S. Department of Education spending over levels for fiscal 2018, as my colleague Andrew Ujifusa wrote. Yesterday the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 93-7. The House still needs to pass the legislation and President Trump must still sign it before the bill becomes law.

Congress is facing a Sept. 30 deadline to pass bills funding the government. In the absence of that, a shutdown will start on Oct. 1.

Here’s how various programs followed by education businesses would be impacted if the House approves the bill, and the president signs it by Sept. 30.

Title IV Part A grants support a well-rounded education, safe and healthy schools, and education technology. They would increase from $1.1 billion to $1.17 billion, signaling Congress’ commitment to enhancing the initial $400 million for fiscal 2017—far short of what was anticipated to be more than $1 billion in the first year after the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed. A coalition of organizations lobbied to increase that funding last year, and if passed, it could stick.

Exclusive research conducted for EdWeek Market Brief this spring found that district leaders expressed a strong interest in using the Title IV funds for professional development, but there were other high priorities on their wish lists. And Market Brief published an analysis from a study on the topic by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and Whiteboard Advisors.

Title I, a major federal education program that supports disadvantaged schools, would edge up from $15.8 billion to $15.9 billion. Funds from Title I are intended to “ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.” Recently, EdWeek Market Brief explored various ways Title I funds can be used to pay for different products or services, depending upon a school’s needs assessment and how that school’s data demonstrates the areas of need.

Title II, for educator preparation, would maintain its $2.05 billion level of funding. Title III, for English language acquisition, would also hold steady at $737 million.

Charter school grants would increase by 10 percent, from $400 million to $440 million, while after-school programs called 21st Century Community Learning Centers would get an increase from $1.2 billion to $1.21 billion.

Grants for special education would increase from $12.4 billion to $12.5 billion. And career-technical education funding would receive an increase in funding, from $1.2 billion to $1.27 billion.

To see a further breakdown—by program—check out Ujifusa’s coverage with an interactive graphic comparing last year’s spending to what’s proposed for fiscal 2019.

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