House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee advanced a major domestic spending bill, which would cut education spending by 28% and, in their view, “Reins in wasteful bureaucracy and enhances oversight and accountability.”
Let’s dive into some of the details. Within this 28% overall cut to the Department of Education is an 80% cut to Title I – the federal government’s largest K-12 funding stream supporting students from low-income families. This would be catastrophic and slash funding to levels last seen nearly 40 years ago. According to Committee Democrats, it would lead to a nationwide reduction of 220,000 teachers.
While Title I funding hangs on by a thread in this bill, the legislation proposes to eliminate several programs, including:
· Teacher professional development, or Title II, which now receives over $2 billion;
· English language acquisition, or Title III, which serves 5 million English learners; and
· Federal work study, which supports 660,000 college students.
Other domestic programs outside the Department of Education would also be eliminated or see major cuts. For example, job training programs for youth funded through the Department of Labor would be eliminated. Head Start would be reduced by $750 million, cutting support for 50,000 children. AmeriCorps, which enrolls more than 200,000 people annually in service, would be cut in half.
All told, the House Republican bill eliminates 61 programs in the name of “restoring fiscal responsibility” and includes several policy requirements and prohibitions to stymie President Biden’s agenda. This includes a prohibition against implementing the President’s Executive Orders regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and advancing racial equity and support for under-served communities.
Rosa DeLauro, the leading Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said in response: “We are witnessing a widespread attack on public education that should horrify all of us.”
While the bill still has to be The bill will soon be considered by the full House of Representatives, but the Senate has yet to release its own proposal. With that chamber controlled by Democrats, their bill is likely to look pretty different. Ultimately, Congressional leaders will need to come to an agreement with the White House to keep the federal government open and operating, a process that is likely to consume the remainder of the year.
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