Mission Statement

As the oldest and largest coalition of education associations in existence, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) provides a strong and unified voice in support of increasing the federal investment in education. Our mission is to provide our members, the public, the US Congress, the Executive Branch, and the media with information in support of federal investments in education. 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.
Committee for Education Funding

CEF, Founded in 1969


CEF 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’s more than 100 member organizations represent the continuum of education — early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, higher education, adult and career education, and educational enhancements such as libraries and museums — including students, teachers and faculty, parents, administrators, counselors and other school employees, and school board members .

The Committee for Education Funding is managed by American Continental Group and is governed by the membership as a whole with a 16-member Executive Committee, which includes three officers elected from among the membership. CEF publishes timely updates, sponsors seminars on current policy issues led by recognized experts, and holds weekly meetings of its membership that provide a forum for information exchange and policy discussions. CEF provides information and assistance to Members of Congress and the Administration on education funding issues, and holds 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.

We invite comments and inquiries regarding CEF membership or its publications.


  • Jenny Smulson, President
    Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
  • Emily Crawford, Vice President
    Vectis DC
  • Steve Voytek, Treasurer
    Advance CTE
  • Emmanuel A. Guillory, Past President
    American Council on Education
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 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 Pre-K through graduate education.
Whom do I contact with questions?
CEF staff are experts on the budget and education funding and communication strategies. Please contact CEF’s Executive Director Sheryl Cohen at (202) 327-8125 with questions or CEF’s President Valerie C. Williams at 703-519-1504

You may also follow us at “edfunding” on Twitter or Instagram

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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.
Advocacy and Information
CEF has begun a new advocacy campaign to increase the investment in education from 2% to 5% of the federal budget. “5¢ Makes Sense” provides the evidence behind the effectiveness of investing in education all along the continuum — early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, higher education, career and lifelong learning, and educational enhancements such as libraries, music, and other services that help students learn. It advocates for increasing the education investment to 5¢ of every federal budget dollar.
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.

This year’s special 50th anniversary gala will be held on September 18, 2019, at the InterContinental-The Wharf on DC’s waterfront.  You can find information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities here, and see photos and honoree speeches from 2018.

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.

Social Media
Through our 7,000 Twitter followers, we both inform CEF members and reach out to the general public and other organizations/policy advocates. We use Twitter to provide real-time updates from House and Senate education hearings and mark-ups. Our Instagram account features the advocacy activities of our many member organizations.
External Outreach
We continue 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-chair NDD United, a coalition of coalitions, representing a broad spectrum of the domestic community fighting the sequester.



Social Media Toolkit to let Congress know why education funding matters to you

CEF Events

CEF Gala – September 13, 2023
Reception and awards banquet at National Press Club Ballroom

Videos, presentations, and photos from past briefings and CEF Galas

Charts, Funding Tables, and Other Resources

Find an expert, view federal budget info, and browse charts and graphics.

CEF Budget Book

Access CEF’s analyses of the President’s budget request from 2011 to the present.