2018 Federal Budget is Mixed Bag
Despite threats to veto the bill, President Trump signed the 2018 federal budget last Friday after it passed in both houses of Congress earlier in the week. The 2018 budget not only overrode the administration’s calls to eliminate $1.1 billion funding for after-school programs, but increased funding for these programs by $20 million. The new budget also disregarded the administration’s call to shrink the Office of Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education, instead adding money for the hiring of additional staff. The budget also contains significant increases for a variety of education-related programs, including:
- $2.37 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants;
- $700 million for Title IV student support and academic enrichment grants;
- $610 million for Head Start;
- $300 million increase for Title I grants for local educational agencies (LEAs);
- $275 million for IDEA – Part B special education grants to states;
Read the full blog on this issue here.
The federal budget that was approved last week was for the fiscal year that is currently in progress. The 2018 fiscal year ends in September, so Congress will need to either approve a new budget for 2019 before then or pass what is called a “continuing resolution” to maintain budget levels at the currently-approved levels. If Congress fails to do either, the government will shut down at the end of September 2018.
President Trump has already called for significant reforms to the budget approval process, including a significant revision to Senate rules to allow future budgets to pass on a simple majority basis, and the creation of a “line-item veto” power that would allow the President to specifically strike certain pieces of approved legislation with which he disagrees. This kind of line-item veto was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1998.
- Federal Flash: Spending Bill Finalized—How Did Education Programs Fare? Plus, Betsy DeVos on Capitol Hill (Alliance for Excellent Education | March 23)
- New Federal Funding Bill Pours Money Into School Safety & Early Education, With Smaller Bumps for Charters & Other Dept Programs (The 74 Million | March 21)
- Trump’s 2019 Budget Proposal and Education: What to Watch (Education Week | February 9)
Be a Part of the Process:
- Get Informed: The missing piece in the current federal budget agreement is a just and equitable approach to addressing the legal status of undocumented students in the K-12 educational system. The approved budget contains nothing to ensure the protection and continued viability of thousands of undocumented students in every state in our nation.
- Take Action: Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-2311 to speak with your members of Congress about the 2019 budget and how undocumented students will be treated while talks about the 2019 budget are in progress.