CEF’s letter in opposition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (June 24)

June 24, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Uncategorized

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CEF Board of Directors - 2015

June 24, 2015

Dear Appropriations Committee Member:

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 118 national education associations and institutions spanning early learning to postgraduate education, writes to express our strong opposition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill as reported from subcommittee.

The fundamental problem with this bill, as well as other appropriations bills, is that they are based on the sequester level cap, which in the aggregate essentially freezes funding for nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs. The only way to provide education and related programs with the investments they so desperately need is for Congress to reach a bipartisan agreement that raises the caps, similar to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that was negotiated by Sen. Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan. Due to the virtual FY 2016 freeze on NDD and the fact that the committee increased funding for several other subcommittees, this bill required a cut of $3.6 billion below the FY 2015 level.

While we appreciate that Subcommittee Chairman Blunt and the subcommittee provided increases for a small number of education programs including Head Start ($100 million), Title I ($125 million), and IDEA State grants ($125 million), overall the bill sharply reduces funding for education programs by $1.7 billion. Compared to the President’s budget, it cuts the Department of Education by $5.3 billion.

The bill eliminates ten education programs including striving readers, preschool development grants, Investing in Innovation, school leadership, the physical education program, First in the World, and the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program.

In addition, it cuts funding for more than 40 other programs, including School Improvement State grants ($56 million), Teacher Quality State grants ($103 million), 21st century community learning centers ($117 million), elementary and secondary school counseling ($27 million), English Language Acquisition ($25 million), adult education State grants ($29 million), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants ($29 million), and Federal Work-Study ($40 million).

Further it rescinds $300 million for FY 2015 Pell grant funding. While this will not adversely affect the Pell grant maximum award for the 2016-17 school year, it will likely result in a Pell funding shortfall in FY 2017.

Several other education programs are frozen including Impact Aid, rural education, TRIO and GEAR UP.

The need to increase the federal investment in education has never been greater. Jobs and the economy are directly linked to and enhanced by such investments. Both unemployment rates and lifetime earnings are closely connected to levels of education attainment.

Solving our nation’s fiscal situation and reducing the debt can’t and won’t happen simply by slashing education and other nondefense discretionary spending. We urge you to reject this bill and instead to start bipartisan negotiations that raise the caps on NDD spending so that the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee receives a larger allocation that will allow it to produce a bill that invests in education and our nation’s future.

Sincerely,

Noelle Ellerson, President

Joel Packer, Executive Director

FISCAL YEAR 2016 DISCRETIONARY FUNDING FOR SELECTED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND RELATED PROGRAMS PREPARED BY THE COMMITTEE FOR EDUCATION FUNDING

June 19, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Uncategorized

FISCAL YEAR 2016 DISCRETIONARY FUNDING FOR SELECTED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND RELATED PROGRAMS PREPARED BY THE COMMITTEE FOR EDUCATION FUNDING (click on image to download)

FISCAL YEAR 2016 DISCRETIONARY FUNDING FOR SELECTED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND RELATED PROGRAMS PREPARED BY THE COMMITTEE FOR EDUCATION FUNDING

 

CEF Letter on Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill

June 19, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Uncategorized

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CEF Board of Directors - 2015

June 19, 2015
Dear Appropriations Committee Member:
The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 118 national education associations and institutions spanning early learning to postgraduate education, writes to express our strong opposition to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill as reported from subcommittee on June 16.

The fundamental problem with this bill, as well as other appropriations bills, is that they are based on the sequester level cap, which in the aggregate essentially freezes funding for nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs. The only way to provide education and related programs with the investments they so desperately need is for Congress to reach a bipartisan agreement that raises the caps, similar to the Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Due to the virtual FY 2016 freeze on NDD and the fact that the committee increased funding for several other subcommittees, this bill required a cut of $3.7 billion below the FY 2015 level.

While we appreciate that Subcommittee Chairman Cole and the subcommittee provided increases for a small number of education programs including Head Start ($192 million), Impact Aid ($10 million), Indian Education ($20 million), IDEA State grants ($502 million), TRIO ($60 million) and GEAR UP ($21 million), overall the bill sharply reduces funding for education programs by $2.8 billion. That is a larger cut than occurred from the FY 2013 sequester.

Compared to the President’s budget, it cuts the Department of Education by $6.4 billion. While IDEA Part B State grants are increased by $502 million, overall funding for elementary and secondary programs is cut by a net of more than $2 billion. The bill eliminates 27 education programs including school improvement State grants, striving readers, preschool development grants, mathematics and science partnerships, safe and drug-free schools and communities national programs, elementary and secondary school counseling, Investing in Innovation, school leadership, magnet schools assistance, Advanced Placement, full service community schools, teacher quality partnerships, First In The World, and the regional educational laboratories.

Funding for Teacher Quality State grants is slashed by $668 million (-28.3%).
At the higher education level, funding for Pell Grants is cut by $370 million. While this will not adversely affect the Pell grant maximum award for the 2016-17 school year, it would result in a Pell shortfall in FY 2017 of $634 million (based on the March CBO baseline, assuming that the FY 16 House appropriated level for Pell is also the FY 17 appropriated level).

Funding for programs in the Institute for Education Sciences is cut by $163 million.

Many other education programs are frozen including Title I grants to LEAs, 21st century community learning centers, rural education, English Language Acquisition State grants, IDEA Preschool grants, IDEA Grants for infants and families, adult education State grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Federal Work Study. Many of these programs are still funded below their FY 2012 pre-sequester levels.

The need to increase the federal investment in education has never been greater. Jobs and the economy are directly linked to and enhanced by such investments. Both unemployment rates and lifetime earnings are closely connected to levels of education attainment.

Solving our nation’s fiscal situation and reducing the debt can’t and won’t happen simply by slashing education and other nondefense discretionary spending. We urge you to reject this bill and instead to start bipartisan negotiations that raise the caps on NDD spending so that the Labor-HHS -Education Subcommittee receives a larger allocation that will allow it to produce a bill that invests in education and our nation’s future.

Sincerely,

Noelle Ellerson, President

Joel Packer, Executive Director

CEF’s “Education Matters” Briefing

April 28, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  CEF Issues, Charts and Factsheets, Resources

CEF’s “Education Matters” Briefing Materials

(click on the links to download the documents)

Education Matters: Invest in Learning for Military Readiness

 

Education Matters: Invest in Learning for Health

 

Education Matters: Invest in Learning for Economic Prosperity

 

Education Matters to Prevent Youth Violence

 

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CEF’s Budget Book: “Education Matters: Investing in America’s Future”

March 31, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Broddy  |  Charts and Factsheets, Resources

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD THE FULL PDF!

TO VIEW THE PRESENTATION FROM THE BRIEFING, IT IS AVAILABLE BELOW.

CEF Book Cover

 

CEF briefing cover

Chairman Price FY 2016 Budget Hurts Students and Education

March 19, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Charts and Factsheets, Resources

To download the full document, click the image below.

Chairman Price FY 2016 Budget

Fact Sheet: Student Aid Savings Enacted (in millions of $)

March 19, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Charts and Factsheets

 

 

 

 

To download the full PDF, click the image.

student aid savings 2015

Statement: CEF Applauds the President’s Budget for Investing in Education Urges Congress to Replace Sequester Caps

February 12, 2015  |  No Comments  |  by Brenda Arredondo  |  Press Releases

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The Committee for Education Funding Applauds the President’s Budget for Investing in Education
Urges Congress to Replace Sequester Caps
(to download the PDF statement, click here)

February 12, 2015

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), a coalition of 115 national education associations and institutions from preschool to postgraduate education, applauds President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget for prioritizing investing in education as a proven strategy to increase jobs and improve our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. The budget proposes significant investments for all levels of education – early learning, K-12, and higher education.

Most importantly, the budget proposes to completely eliminate the harmful sequester cap for nondefense discretionary funding (NDD) in FY 2016. Doing so restores $37 billion for education and other important domestic programs including research. The budget also proposes to restore the sequester cuts in FY 2017 and provides partial restoration in FY 2018 through FY 2021 by replacing them with a balanced package of deficit reduction. Sequestration slashed education programs in FY 2013 by almost $2.5 billion and Head Start by $400 million. Research programs – such as those overseen by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation crucial to higher education, our nation’s innovation agenda, and support for graduate students – were cut by over $2 billion.

Based on the bipartisan Ryan-Murray budget deal of 2013, the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act was a positive step forward in undoing the majority of the sequester cuts in FY 2014. However, it only restored two-thirds of the cuts in the U.S. Department of Education, leaving many education programs frozen at their post-sequester levels. Due to the virtual freeze in the NDD cap in FY 2015, the most recent CRomnibus bill resulted in a net cut to the Department of Education, while freezing funding for Head Start.

Overall funding at the Department of Education (excluding Pell grants) is still below the FY 2008 level. Because the FY 2016 NDD cap is once again virtually the same as the FY 2015 cap, there is no room for increasing needed investments. Thus, the most important step Congress can take to help students, educators, parents, early education programs, schools, colleges, libraries and museums is to permanently eliminate the sequester cuts.

The budget proposes a $3.6 billion (+5.4 percent) increase for programs in the Department of Education. In addition, the budget proposes major new investments in education on the mandatory spending side for preschool, improving the preparation and quality of teachers and school leaders, and making community college free.

The budget also projects an increase in the Pell grant maximum award of $140 to $5,915. Several important tax provisions are proposed that would benefit higher education.  These include a permanent extension of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, scheduled to expire at the end of 2017, and excluding from taxable income the portions of student loans forgiven under income-based repayment plans and all of Pell grants.

According to CEF President Noelle Ellerson, “While we are extremely pleased with the overall comprehensive package of education investments, we are concerned with proposed freezes for several education programs, including Striving Readers, Impact Aid overall funding, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, rural education, school counseling, magnet schools, adult education State grants, campus-based aid,  GEAR UP, aid to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions, and graduate education.” The budget also proposes the elimination of Impact Aid payments for federal property, the literacy initiative, and the Teacher Quality Partnership program in the Higher Education Act. CEF opposes these proposals.

CEF strongly supports the robust increases for Title I, Head Start and Preschool Development grants, and additional investments for IDEA, English Language Acquisition, STEM, safe and healthy students, Career and Technical Education State Grants, TRIO, educational research and data, and evidence-based practices, and the restoration of education technology grants.

CEF also applauds the budget’s support for college access though the permanent extension of the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the mandatory-funded investments in early childhood education, including $75 billion for Preschool for All and an expansion of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).

CEF Executive Director Joel Packer noted, “State and local budget cuts have resulted in the loss of 324,000 public school employees’ jobs since the start of the recession, and public school revenue declined in FY 2012 for the first time since 1977.  At least 30 States are providing less funding per student for the 2014-15 school year than before the recession, 46 States are spending less per student in public higher education than in 2008, and overall State support per student for higher education is at its lowest level in 25 years. That’s why the investments proposed by the president are more important than ever.”

“We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to obtain the increases in education funding proposed by the president and permanently replace the sequester in order to provide needed investments,” said Ellerson. “The president’s budget moves our country forward through investments that grow our economy and help students get the skills they need for jobs of the future, while sequestration continues to hold us back.”