The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) is a coalition that was founded in 1969 with the goal of achieving adequate federal financial support for our nation’s educational system. The coalition is voluntary, nonprofit and nonpartisan. CEF members include educational associations, institutions, agencies, and organizations whose interests range from preschool to postgraduate education in both public and private systems.
The purpose of CEF is to provide members of the general public and government officials with information enabling them to better assess the need for funding of federal education programs. CEF takes positions on federal education funding issues that represent a consensus of its membership and then communicates those positions to federal government officials and Members of Congress.
The Committee for Education Funding is managed by American Continental Group and is governed by the membership as a whole with a sixteen member Executive Committee, which includes three officers elected from among the membership. CEF publishes timely updates, holds weekly meetings of its membership, which provide a forum for information exchange and policy discussions, and sponsors seminars on current policy issues led by recognized experts. CEF provides information and assistance to Members of Congress and the Administration on education funding issues as well as holding numerous briefings and policy meetings with Congressional staff and Administration officials during the year. At its annual Gala, CEF honors outstanding advocates of federal education investment.
As the oldest and largest coalition of education associations in existence, the Committee for Education Funding provides a strong and unified voice in support of increasing federal education funding. We invite comments and inquiries regarding CEF membership or its publications.
Jocelyn Bissonnette, President
National Association of Federally Impacted Schools
Jeff Carter, Vice-President
National Coalition for Literacy
Megan Wolfe, Treasurer
Makese Motley, Past President
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
Founded in 1969, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and its more than 115 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 oldest and largest education coalition, reflecting the broad spectrum of the education community.
Who are CEF’s members?
The Committee’s members are educational institutions, agencies, associations, and other organizations, whose interests range from preschool to postgraduate education in both public and private systems. Our members also include organizations representing career, technical, and adult education, workforce training, libraries, museums, business, and more!
What is the purpose of CEF?
The purpose of the Committee is to provide its members, the general public, the United States Congress, the Executive Branch, and the press with information in support of federal investments in education. The Committee takes positions on federal education funding issues that represent a consensus of its member organizations and communicates those positions to the Administration, Members of Congress, and the media.
What has CEF achieved?
CEF and its members have been very successful in championing the cause of increasing federal educational investment and fighting against harmful cuts to education programs. Through strong advocacy, grassroots efforts and effective communications we obtained $100 billion in ARRA funds for education in 2009; led the effort to enact a $10 billion education jobs fund and $5.7 billion to pay off the Pell grant shortfall in 2010; successfully fought off over $10 billion in education cuts included in HR 1 in 2011; helped prevent a doubling of the 3.4% student loan interest rate in 2012; led the fight against the sequester cuts in 2013, leading to passage of the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill that restored $1.5 billion for education programs, along with $1.5 billion in new investments for early childhood education; and led the fight to raise the sequester caps in 2015 that resulted in the FY 2016 omnibus that increased education funding by $1.2 billion with an additional increase of almost $900 million in early education in HHS.
What makes CEF unique?
As the largest coalition of education associations in existence, CEF provides a strong and unified voice in support of federal education funding. Because the Committee represents diverse segments of the education community, it has the ability to address educational investment concerns at all levels. CEF is the only coalition that represents education from PreK through graduate education.
Whom do I contact with questions?
CEF staff are experts on the budget and education funding and communication strategies. Please contact Sheryl Cohen, Executive Director at (202) 327-8125 with questions or Jocelyn Bissonnette, President at (202) 624-5455. You may also visit us on the Web at www.cef.org and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/edfunding.
CEF Activities and Accomplishments
The Committee for Education Funding connects members of the education community to Congress, communicates our message of the need for increased federal investment in education, and fights to raise the sequester caps.
Legislative Conference and Gala
Each year CEF holds a Legislative Conference and Gala that is an opportunity for the education community to come together to exchange success stories, coordinate advocacy strategies, and to honor those who have demonstrated their strong commitment to investing in education. In 2016, 400 CEF members and others in attendance at the Gala heard from Rep. Tom Cole (OK), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education; Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX), ranking member of the Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee of the Education and the Workforce Committee; Thomas Skelly, former director of the Department of Education’s Budget Service; and Joel Packer, former executive director of CEF. Earlier that morning, the legislative conference featured two panels of experts discussing “Perception versus Reality: What Do the American People Think About Education?” and “The Evolution and Future of Education Policy.
Speakers and Events
The Committee for Education Funding holds regular Friday meetings and other events to network, share information, and hear from speakers including House and Senate staff from both sides of the aisle, Administration officials, and outside experts on the education budget, appropriations, and policy issues. In addition to these meetings, the Committee for Education has also hosted special events including a Presidential Forum featuring representatives of major party candidates, a Budget/Appropriations 101 Workshop explaining the intricacies of the federal budget and appropriations processes, receptions for new members of Congress and Congressional staff, briefings with current and former Congressional committee staff, a forum with education reporters, panels with pollsters and pundits, briefings on the President’s budget the day after its release featuring high level Administration and Congressional staff, a sequester “bake sale,” special research briefings, and an “Education Seeds the Economy” briefing.
Through our over 6,900 followers, we expanded the use of Twitter to both inform CEF members and reach out to the general public and other organizations/policy advocates. We used Twitter to provide real-time updates from House and Senate education hearings and mark-ups.
We continued our close relationships with the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce. Together with these two coalitions, we co-chaired NDD United, a coalition of coalitions, representing a broad spectrum of the domestic community to fight the sequester.