CEF’s Letter on HR 5 to Congress (Feb. 9)

February 9, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Letters to Congress

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CEF Board of Directors - 2015

February 9, 2015

The Honorable John Kline
Chairman
House Education and the Workforce Committee

The Honorable Bobby Scott
Ranking Member
House Education and the Workforce Committee

Dear Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 115 national education associations and institutions representing early learning to postgraduate education, writes to express our strong opposition to the authorization levels contained in HR 5, the Student Success Act. While CEF as a coalition is not taking a position on the policy issues in HR 5, we oppose the authorization levels because they would freeze funding in the aggregate for programs authorized in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through the 2021-22 school year.

HR 5 freezes the aggregate ESEA authorization level for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 and for each of the succeeding five years at the aggregate FY 2015 appropriated level of $23.30 billion. Not only will this prevent needed investments for critical programs for the next six years, but it cuts funding below the FY 2012 pre-sequester level of $24.11 billion (a cut of 3.36 percent). Doing so locks in over $800 million in cuts to these programs compared to the FY 12 level.

Since the National Center for Education Statistics projects that public school enrollment will increase by more than 2.2 million students in this period and the Congressional Budget Office projects an aggregate increase in the CPI of 14.2 percent between 2015 and 2021, such a freeze would severely erode the purchasing power of these programs and significantly reduce services to students.

When factoring in cuts to ESEA programs that were enacted in FY 2011 and 2012, HR 5 locks in almost $1.7 billion in cuts compared to the FY 2010 appropriated level.

These cuts have come at a time when enrollments have increased, more children are living in poverty and schools and students have endured deep state and local budget cuts.

Instead of making it more difficult to improve overall student achievement, close achievement gaps, and increase high school graduation and college access rates by locking in these drastic cuts, Congress should be investing in our future through education. The need to increase the federal investment in education has never been greater. Jobs and the economy are directly linked to such investments. Both unemployment rates and lifetime earnings are based on levels of education attainment.

We urge you to reject the authorization levels contained in HR 5 and instead raise them to at least the FY 2010 level.

Sincerely,

Noelle Ellerson, President

Joel Packer, Executive Director

FY 15 Labor-HHS-ED CRomnibus Senate

December 15, 2014  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

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Click here to download the letter.

December 12, 2014

Dear Senator:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 115 national education associations and institutions representing early learning to postgraduate education, is writing to express views on H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.

This bill makes clear the critical need to raise the sequester cap for nondefense discretionary (NDD) spending.  The Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 NDD cap froze aggregate funding at last year’s level.  Since the FY 2016 cap is essentially a freeze at this year’s level, it will continue to make it extremely difficult for Congress to provide needed investments in education that will help our country prosper.

While we recognize the very difficult funding constraints the Appropriations Committee was operating under, we are deeply disappointed that the bill cuts aggregate discretionary funding for the Department of Education (ED) by $166 million. Excluding Pell grants, discretionary spending is increased by only 0.3 percent. Indeed, Fiscal Year 2015 ED discretionary spending would be almost $1 billion below the pre-sequester level.

While we appreciate the modest increases provided for such programs as Title I, Striving Readers, IDEA Part B State Grants, English Language Acquisition grants, Federal Work-study, Developing Institutions, and TRIO, many education programs will still be below their pre-sequester levels. Most other programs are frozen, with a few, such as School leadership and the High School Graduation Initiative, subject to additional cuts.

Education funding, though only 2 percent of the federal budget, has been a target of deep cuts since January 2011.  On the discretionary side of the budget, funding for programs exclusive of Pell grants was cut by a total of $3.714 billion between FY 2010 and FY 2013. Included among those cuts was the elimination of more than 50 education programs.

While the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act was a positive step forward in undoing the majority of the FY 2013 sequester cuts, it only restored two-thirds of the cuts in the Department of Education. Indeed, several important programs, including School Improvement Grants, Rural education, Promise Neighborhoods, elementary and secondary school counseling, Indian Education, Teacher Quality Partnerships, Magnet Schools Assistance, IDEA Preschool grants, Graduate assistance, research, development, and dissemination, and the Regional Educational Laboratories will remain frozen at their sequester cut level for the third year.

However, the alternative to passing this bill will be a three-month Continuing Resolution for the Department of Education and the rest of the government.  That would create continued uncertainty for states, schools, students and colleges. This is particularly the case for current-year funded programs like Impact Aid and Head Start. In addition, delaying decisions on final FY 2015 appropriations until March 2015 may well result in additional reductions in funding for education programs. Thus, we recommend that you vote for passage of the bill and on related procedural motions to advance its passage.

When our students succeed, our nation succeeds.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Jones                                   Joel Packer

President                                             Executive Director

 

FY 15 Labor-HHS-ED CRomnibus

December 11, 2014  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

Dear Representative:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 115 national education associations and institutions representing early learning to postgraduate education, is writing to express views on H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.

This bill makes clear the critical need to raise the sequester cap for nondefense discretionary (NDD) spending. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 NDD cap froze aggregate funding at last year’s level. Since the FY 2016 cap is essentially a freeze at this year’s level, it will continue to make it extremely difficult for Congress to provide needed investments in education that will help our country prosper.

While we recognize the very difficult funding constraints the Appropriations Committee was operating under, we are deeply disappointed that the bill cuts aggregate discretionary funding for the Department of Education (ED) by $166 million. Excluding Pell grants, discretionary spending is increased by only 0.3 percent. Indeed, Fiscal Year 2015 ED discretionary spending would be almost $1 billion below the pre-sequester level.

To view the full letter, please click HERE

 

FY 2015 Omnibus

November 3, 2014  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

November 3, 2014

[Chairs and Ranking Members listed in the full PDF]

 

Dear Chairs and Ranking Members:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 115 national education associations and institutions representing early learning to postgraduate education, urges you to finalize an omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 that provides needed investments in education. An omnibus bill would reflect the important work done by your committees and honor the bipartisan budget agreement reached by the two chambers in 2013. A long term Continuing Resolution (CR) would abdicate Congress’s responsibility to make program-by-program funding decisions and provide necessary guidance to the Administration in implementing programs in FY 2015. In addition, a long-term CR would deny children, students, schools and colleges the opportunity to benefit from the kind of targeted funding increases contained in the bill approved by the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee or proposed in the Labor-HHS-Education bill released by Representative Rosa DeLauro.

To view the full letter, please click here

Dear Representative

April 8, 2014  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

April 8, 2014

Dear Representative:
The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 114 national education associations and institutions representing early learning to postgraduate education, writes to express our strong opposition to H. Con. Res. 96, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget Resolution as reported by the Budget Committee.

This budget would devastate funding for education and make college less affordable by more than doubling the level of cuts required by the sequester starting in FY 2016, freezing the maximum Pell grant for ten years, eliminating over $90 billion in mandatory funding for Pell grants (which will almost certainly result in a substantial cut to the maximum award), increasing student indebtedness by $47 billion by eliminating the in-school interest subsidy for subsidized student loans and restricting income-based repayment, and narrowing eligibility for need-based student aid. It also eliminates all funding for public and school libraries, museums and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

To view the full letter, please click here

Dear Budget Committee Member

April 8, 2014  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

April 1, 2014

Dear Budget Committee Member:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 114 national education associations and institutions representing early learning to postgraduate education, writes to express our strong opposition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget Resolution as introduced by Chairman Ryan.

This budget would devastate funding for education and make college less affordable by more than doubling the level of cuts required by the sequester starting in FY 2016, freezing the maximum Pell grant for ten years, eliminating almost $100 billion in mandatory funding for Pell grants (which will almost certainly result in a substantial cut to the maximum award), increasing student indebtedness by eliminating the in-school interest subsidy for subsidized student loans, and narrowing eligibility for need-based student aid. It also eliminates all funding for public and school libraries, museums and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

To view the full letter, please click here

Dear Representative

December 11, 2013  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

December 11, 2013

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 111 national education associations and institutions representing preschool to postgraduate education, is writing to express our support for the Senate Amendment (the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2013) to H.J. Res. 59.

 While the BBA is not ideal since it fails to fully replace the remaining eight years of sequester cuts to education and other nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs and only partially replaces the sequester cuts for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015, it is a positive step in the right direction.

After three years of budget cuts that moved our nation backward on efforts to improve overall student achievement, close achievement gaps, and increase high school graduation and college access and completion rates, the BBA turns a corner by providing the Appropriations Committee with an allocation sufficient to  restore the overwhelming majority of the cuts in Fiscal Year 2014.

Education programs (exclusive of Pell grants) have already been cut multiple times in the past two and a half years, including $1.5 billion in combined cuts from the FY 2011 CR and the FY 2012 omnibus.  In addition, cuts, restrictions and limitations on interest subsidies for federal student loans and curtailed eligibility for Pell grants resulted in college students contributing $5.6 billion out of their pockets to deficit reduction.

To view the full letter, click here

Senate Sequester Bills

March 7, 2013  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

February 28, 2013

Dear Senator:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 106 national education associations and institutions from birth to postgraduate education, writes in support of S. 388, the American Family Economic Protection Act of 2013 and in opposition to S. 16, to provide flexibility to the Administration to determine where the sequester cuts occur.

CEF, our member organizations, educators, students, schools, colleges and libraries are strongly opposed to the harmful sequester cuts scheduled to take effect tomorrow. These sequestration cuts would chop funding for programs in the Department of Education by $2.5 billion. In addition, Head Start would be cut by $398 million. This would be the largest cut EVER to education programs. Sequestration would move us backwards, by slashing Department of Education non-Pell grant discretionary funding below the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 level. Institutions of higher education will also be hit hard by cuts to vital research programs, including NIH (-$1.54 billion) and NSF (-$358 million).

To view full letter, click here

Letter to Representative Eric Cantor

November 13, 2012  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

November 7, 2012

Dear Republican Colleague:

This election was filled with good news, and bad news. The good news is that the American people responded to two years of House Republican leadership by sending us back with a strong majority. It is clear that our efforts to improve the economy and create the conditions for job growth were well-received, and I congratulate you all for sharing that message and returning to Washington to finish the job. The bad news is that we did not get the partner in the White House that we desired. After an arduous campaign, it is disappointing, but there is still work to get done and we must achieve as many of our goals as possible working with President Obama. We now know the results of the election, but what are the results for the American people?

To view the full letter, click here

Education is not welfare

October 24, 2012  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Letters to Congress

Dear Senator Sessions:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 99 education associations and institutions from PreK to postgraduate education, is writing to express our astonishment and deep disappointment with your recent statement equating federal funding for critical education programs as welfare (Sessions Comments On Congressional Report Showing Welfare Is Single Largest Federal Expense).

To view the full letter, click here