NASS Optimistic Omnibus Spending Bill Will Support Schools


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March 21, 2018

Following months of delays, congressional leaders just filed a $1.3 billion omnibus spending bill for the fiscal year of 2018 that the House and Senate will consider later this week. Congress must approve the measure, or pass another stop-gap spending bill, by midnight on Friday to avoid a government shut down.  Although passage of the bill is not a foregone conclusion, we expect Congress will ultimately send the bill to the president for his approval.

The compromise bill provides a $2.6 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Education. Although we are still working our way through the text, we want to share a glimpse of the allocations for the major formula programs:

  • ESSA, Title I: $15.7B ($300M increase) 
  • ESSA, Title II: $2B (level funding) 
  • ESSA, Title IV: $1.1B ($700M increase) 
  • IDEA State Grants: $13.1B ($299M increase) 
  • Career and Technical Education: $1.19B ($75M increase)
NASS strongly rejected President Trump’s plan to decimate federal investments in teachers and school leaders, high-quality early learning programs, career, and technical education initiatives, and other critically needed educational opportunities will harm students, families and entire communities. In July 2017 NASS welcomed Congress’ decision to use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to restore greater judgment and control to district leaders, while also continuing federal law’s emphasis on encouraging high standards, robust accountability, and promoting transparency and community engagement. Meeting this high bar will require significant resources, beginning with greater funding for ESSA’s foundational formula investments - Title I and II – while also supporting the law’s other programs, including the versatile Student Support and Academic Enrichment block grant. 

We are strongly encouraged that the voice of members and our association have been heard by the House and Senate and have high hopes that President Trump will sign the compromised bill. Investment in our schools will give our members the tools to work with their local communities to help students graduate ready for later academic, career and life success. We will provide additional updates later this week, but if you have any questions about the bill in the meantime, please let me know by email at tarmelino@nass.us.