House FY 17 Labor HHS Response

August 26, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by JWeinberg  |  Letters to Congress

Download the PDF Here!

July 12, 2016
 
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:
 
On behalf of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 116 national education associations and institutions spanning early learning to postgraduate education, we are writing to voice our concerns regarding the Labor- HHS-Education appropriations bill that was passed out of the Subcommittee on July 7th. We are keenly aware of the difficult budget limitations the Subcommittee endeavored to balance, and commend your leadership in moving the appropriations process forward. CEF continues to emphasize the importance of eliminating the discretionary funding caps, as robust investment in education is essential to our nation’s economic viability.
 
We recognize that some programs received modest increases, and we are encouraged by the level of funding allocated for ESSA’s new Title IV block grant but we also acknowledge the limited additional investments to IDEA grants, Impact Aid, Indian Education, TRIO, and GEAR UP. We strongly believe that these nominal investments are insufficient to fund the full array of programs necessary to help students attain their full potential. Furthermore, while we are pleased the Committee retained the funding from the now eliminated School
 
Improvement Grants (SIG) program and moves it through the Title I formula, we remain concerned that such an allocation still translates into a $200 million shortfall at the local district level.
CEF is deeply worried about the $1.3 billion that was taken from the Pell Grant reserve fund and the precedent that it sets, along with the cut to the Pell program’s annual appropriation. We were further disappointed by the lack of restoration of year-round Pell Grants, which was included in the Senate Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill earlier this year.
 
Finally, funding for numerous programs in this bill was reduced, frozen, or eliminated altogether. It was mentioned at the markup that there were “more than two dozen education programs that saw their funding reduced or completely eliminated in this bill.” This includes both the Magnet Schools Assistance program and the Education Innovation and Research program that have both been zeroed out, despite receiving tens of millions of dollars in FY 2016. The extensive negative impact of these budget decisions is avoidable by lifting the caps that are causing pressing funding constraints.
 
We strongly urge Congress to eliminate the discretionary caps in order to fund our nation’s education programs at adequate levels. Educational attainment is strongly tied to individual success and the growth, vitality, and innovation of our nation’s economic strength. Congress must work toward advancing the resources necessary to provide the best possible opportunities for students, their families, and our country.

Sincerely,
 
Makese Motley
President
 
Sheryl Cohen
Executive Director

Senate FY 2017 Labor HHS Response

August 26, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by JWeinberg  |  Letters to Congress

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June 8, 2016
 
Dear Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray:
 
On behalf of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 116 national education associations and institutions spanning early learning to postgraduate education, we write to express our encouragement by the effort that produced the first bi-partisan Labor-HHS budget to come out of the subcommittee in seven years. We are keenly aware of the difficult budget limitations and priorities you both endeavored to balance, and commend your leadership in moving the budget process forward.
While CEF appreciates that some currently authorized programs received modest increases, we are deeply concerned over the $1.2 billion that was taken from the Pell Grant reserve fund and the precedent that it sets. We continue to emphasize the importance of eliminating the discretionary funding caps, as adequate investment in education is essential to our nation’s economic viability. While we acknowledge limited additional investments in Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies, IDEA grants, Impact Aid, and Charter School funding, we are concerned such nominal investments will not be enough as all are critical components in helping students attain their full education potential.

Additionally, while the proposed Title I level is $50 million above the combined FY 2016 level for Title I and School Improvement Grants (SIG), it still represents a cut at the local level. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) absorbed SIG into Title I and increased the school improvement set-aside from 4% to 7%. Thus, even with the additional $50 million provided by your committee, $150 million will be cut from school district allocations, resulting in many school districts receiving a smaller initial Title I allocation than they did in FY 2016.
 
We would also like to express our concern with the $300 million appropriation for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG) under Title IV, Part A of ESSA, which is a funding level well below the $1.65 billion authorization level established in ESSA. This appropriation level only reflects funding for the programs that were funded in FY16 and consolidated into the bill, even though the activities under the new block grant are far broader than those that were funded––including the effective use of technology, safe and healthy school programs, and well-rounded education programs. At this funding level, many schools will be unable to make meaningful investments in the programs that provide children with a safe and enriched learning environment, critical to their success and achievement.
 
CEF supports the restoration of year-round Pell grants, as well as the funding necessary to increase the maximum Pell grant from $5,815 for the 2016-2017 school year to an estimated $5,935 for the 2017-2018 school year. Despite this increased investment, however, the bill underfunds several higher education programs that are equally as important to the postsecondary success of America’s students. In particular, we wish to highlight the TRIO and GEAR UP programs, which provide supportive services to ensure access and success for low-income, first-generation college students; campus-based aid programs, like Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Federal Work-Study, which provide additional funds to help students and families bear the cost of college; and funding to support Minority-Serving Institutions, which help shore up the infrastructure and operations of institutions dedicated to educating students of color.
 
We continue to urge Congress to eliminate the discretionary caps in order to fund our nation’s education programs at an adequate level. Educational attainment is strongly tied to both individual success and the growth, vitality, and innovation of our nation’s economic strength. We urge Congress to continue to work toward advancing the resources necessary to implement the best possible opportunities for students, their families, and our nation.

Sincerely,

Makese Motley
President

Sheryl Cohen
Executive Director

July 12, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by JWeinberg  |  Uncategorized

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2016 Committee For Education Funding Gala

June 27, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by JWeinberg  |  Uncategorized

 

2016 Legislative Conference and Gala

Register Here!


Please Join Us
The Committee for Education Funding’s
2016 Gala
Wednesday, September 21

 
Reception: 5:30-6:45 pm
Banquet: 6:45-9:00 pm
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill

__________________________________________________

Announcing as Master of Ceremonies

Kavitha Cardoza
Special Correspondant for WAMU, American University Radio

__________________________________________________

Honoring

__________________________________________________

Representative Tom Cole (R-OK)
Chairman, House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee
 
Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX)
Ranking Member, Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee
 
Joel Packer
Former Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding
 
Thomas Skelly
Former Director of the Budget Service, U.S. Department of Education

__________________________________________________

Legislative Conference
 
8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Cannon Caucus Room (345 Cannon House Office Building)

 
Speakers Include
__________________________________________________
 
Jack Jennings
Former President and CEO, Center on Education Policy
 
Joshua Starr
CEO, Phi Delta Kappa International
 
Alyson Klein
Reporter, EdWeek

Education Matters 2017 and Resources

March 31, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Uncategorized

Download “Education Matters”

2016Cover SM_ web

CEF’s annual Education Budget Response is the most comprehensive source available on how vital federal education programs improve the lives of millions of Americans.

The Budget Response is a useful source for information on federal education programs, but there are resources even more valuable: the authors and contacts listed within, who invite you to find out more about the programs described here and the lives of the people these programs touch.


Click the image to download the Education Matters presentation.

CEF briefing cover

Letter in strong opposition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Resolution proposed by Chairman Price

March 15, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Charts and Factsheets, Letters to Congress

Download the PDF here.

March 15, 2016

Dear Budget Committee Member:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 116 national education associations and institutions spanning early learning to postgraduate education, writes to express our strong opposition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Resolution proposed by Chairman Price.

While the proposed Budget maintains the FY 2017 cap for nondefense discretionary (NDD) spending, it proposes to slash funding for education and other critical NDD programs by $877 billion, or 18.6 percent, between FY 2018 and FY 2026.

In FY 2018 alone, it cuts NDD programs by $44 billion (-8.5 percent) below the sequester cap.  Compared to the current Fiscal Year, it cuts NDD by $55 billion      (-10.4 percent), when the $8 billion provided for NDD through the Overseas Contingency Operations fund is factored in.

The materials released on the Chairman’s proposed budget do not provide any details on funding for discretionary-funded education programs.  However, if the 10.4 percent cut to NDD below current levels was applied equally to all programs, funding for critical Department of Education programs would be cut by $7.1 billion with Head Start in the Department of Health and Human Services cut by $953 million. Such cuts would devastate programs serving students from preschool to postgraduate education, as well as in related areas of workforce training, libraries and museums. In addition, the budget proposes to freeze the maximum Pell grant award for at least the next ten years.

Making matters worse, the Budget includes $202 billion in mandatory cuts over ten years in Function 500 (Education, Employment, Training, and Social Services).  While the materials do not specify what those cuts are, we are deeply concerned they likely will result in additional reductions to mandatory-funded student financial aid programs.

At a time when increased educational attainment is strongly tied to earnings, such cuts would be harmful not only to students and their families, schools, colleges, and States, but also to our nation’s economy.

We again strongly urge you to reject this Budget, which reverses recent bipartisan progress in restoring past budget cuts, and would move our nation backwards in efforts to improve school readiness, close achievement gaps, fulfill modern workforce needs, and increase high school graduation, college attendance, and college completion.

Sincerely,

Makese Motley
President

Joel Packer
Executive Director

 

HBR Chart March 2016

CEF Statement on FY 2017 Budget

February 20, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Press Releases

Click here to download the PDF.

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION         

February 12, 2016

CONTACT:

Joel Packer, CEF Executive Director
JPacker@cef.org
202-383-0083
202-255-0915
 (cell)

 

The Committee for Education Funding Pleased the President’s Budget Invests in Education Despite Constrained Fiscal Environment

Disappointed in Proposed Freeze for Many Key Programs

 

WASHINGTON – The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 124 national education associations and institutions from preschool to postgraduate education, is pleased that President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget continues to invest in education, despite the very constrained fiscal environment, due to the FY 2017 freeze for nondefense discretionary programs.

The Budget increases funding for the Department of Education by $1.3 billion. In addition, early learning programs in the Department of Health and Human Services, including Preschool Development grants, Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant, would receive a combined increase of $734 million.

Makese Motley, President of CEF said, “We are deeply disappointed that the budget freezes funding for key foundational education programs including IDEA state grants, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title II Supporting Effective Instruction, Impact Aid, Rural Education, Career and Technical Education State grants, Adult Education State grants, Federal Supplemental Educational opportunity grants, Federal Work Study, TRIO, GEAR UP, aid to HBCUs, HSIs, and other minority-serving institutions.”

CEF also pointed out that while Title I funding is proposed to increase by $450 million, in reality that is a freeze at the combined FY 2016 level for Title I and School Improvement Grants (SIG).  The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) absorbed SIG into Title I and increased the school improvement set-aside from 4% to 7%.  Thus, $200 million will be cut from school district allocations, resulting in many school districts receiving a smaller initial Title I allocation than they did in FY 2016. 

CEF also noted that while the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants created in ESSA is funded above the combined FY 2016 appropriation level of programs that were consolidated into it, its proposed funding is less than one-third of its $1.65 billion authorized level that was established in that bipartisan bill, even though the activities under the new block grant are far broader than those funded under the programs that were absorbed into it.

CEF is pleased that some currently authorized programs received modest increases, including education for homeless children, Promise Neighborhoods, Education Innovation and Research, school leaders, magnet schools, IDEA preschool and infants/families, and research and statistics.  In addition, the Budget proposes $139 billion in new mandatory funding over ten years for programs such as Preschool for All, Computer Science for All, and America’s College Promise.

At the higher education level, CEF supports the proposed expanded eligibility for Pell grants through the proposed Pell for Accelerated Completion, the Pell bonus, and other improvements.

CEF is strongly opposed to the proposed cuts to 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Impact Aid payments for federal property, International education, Library Services State grants, and the elimination of Teacher Quality Partnerships.

“We are fully supportive of the president’s plan to finally eliminate the harmful sequester caps and cuts in Fiscal Year 2018 and beyond, that make it extremely difficult to provide needed investments in education and related programs,” CEF Executive Director Joel Packer noted.

“CEF looks forward to working with Congress on a bipartisan basis to ensure that key education programs receive the increases desperately needed to help ensure that all students come to school ready to learn, close achievement gaps, improve overall student achievement, and increase high school graduation, college access, and college completion rates,” said Motley. “When our students succeed our nation succeeds.”


About the Committee for Education Funding

 Founded in 1969, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and its 100+ member organizations have worked toward the common goal of maximizing federal support for our nation’s education system. Nonpartisan and nonprofit, CEF is America’s largest education coalition, reflecting the broad spectrum of the education community. 

Chart: PELL GRANT PROGRAM DISCRETIONARY FUNDING NEEDED TO MAINTAIN A DISCRETIONARY MAXIMUM AWARD OF $4,860

February 2, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Charts and Factsheets, Resources, Uncategorized

PELL GRANT PROGRAM DISCRETIONARY FUNDING NEEDED TO MAINTAIN A DISCRETIONARY MAXIMUM AWARD OF $4,860

(Click to download the PDF)

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FISCAL YEAR 2016 DISCRETIONARY FUNDING MATERIALS

January 4, 2016  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Uncategorized

Click below to view and download “Fiscal Year 2016 Discretionary Funding For Selected Department Of Education And Related Programs”

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Click below to view charts which provide yearly Budget Authority funding levels between Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 and FY 2016 for major discretionary funded programs the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Head Start in the Department of Health and Human Services.
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