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.
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