2018 Federal Budget Provides New Monies for Education

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March 28, 2018
Dear Members,
I'm writing to follow-up on our recent message about the fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill. The Senate (65-32), House (256-167), and president have approved the $1.3 trillion measure. The compromise bill provides a meaningful increase for school districts. After a long year of advocacy on your behalf we are pleased to see the following investments in our schools: 
Major K-12 Formula Programs

  • ESSA, Title I: $15.7 billion ($300 million increase)
  • ESSA, Title II: $2 billion (level funding)
  • ESSA, Title IV: $1.1 billion ($700 million increase)
  • IDEA State Grants: $12.2 billion ($275 million increase)
  • Perkins Career and Technical Education: $1.19 billion ($75 million increase)
Other Key K-12 Programs
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers: $1.212 billion ($20 million increase)
  • Teacher Quality Partnerships: $43.09 million (level funding)
  • State Assessments: $378 million ($8.9 million increase)
  • Education, Innovation and Research Grants: $120 million ($20 million increase)
  • Supporting Effective Educator Development: $75 million, ($10 million increase)
  • School Safety National Activities: $90 million, which is a $22 million increase above the FY2017 level
  • Office for Civil Rights: $117 million ($8.5 million increase)
  • Statewide Family Engagement Centers: $10 million (new funding)
  • Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems: $32.28 million (level funding)
Early Learning and Care (Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Preschool Development Grants: $250 million (level funding)
  • Child Care and Development Block Grants: $5.226 billion ($2.37 billion increase)
  • Head Start: $9.863 billion ($610 million increase)
Child Nutrition (Department of Agriculture)
  • Child Nutrition Program: $24.1 billion ($1.4 billion increase)
  • School Breakfast Program Equipment Grants: $30 million ($5 million increase)
  • Demonstration Projects (Summer EBT): $28 million ($5 million increase)
Given that the omnibus spending bill may be the last major legislation approved by Congress before the midterm elections, the measure also includes notable new policy provisions with implications for schools such as the:
  • Stop School Violence Act: The Bureau of Justice Assistance (Department of Justice) is authorized to make grants to States, units of local government, and Indian tribes to support evidence-based programs, violence prevention efforts, and anonymous reporting systems. Funds may also be used to support physical security upgrades for schools, like "metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures. Sub-awards may be made to school districts, non-profit organizations and other units of local government or tribal organizations. The bill re-allocates $75 million from the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (DoJ) to the SSVA.
  • Secure Rural Schools Program: Congress provided two years of support for the lapsed Secure Rural Schools program, which offers formula payments to qualified “forest counties.” SRS payments go to counties nationwide, but they mainly go to rural, Western counties with high presence of Bureau of Land Management or National Forest System.
  • Rural Utility Service Broadband Pilot: The bill authorizes the Rural Utility Service (Department of Agriculture) to launch a $600 million distance learning, telemedicine broadband program. The bill notes that the funding should be prioritized to areas currently lacking access to broadband service, and investments in broadband shall consider any technology that best serves the goals of broadband expansion.
Other important policy provisions, however, were not addressed in the final bill. For example, Congress failed to include a solution for the students, teachers and other individuals covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The bill also does not address the internet sales tax issue, pending before the Supreme Court (South Dakota v. Wayfair) that is putting growing pressure on state and local revenues.  Congress also declined to include health care funding sought by a bipartisan group of lawmakers for programs like cost-sharing subsidies and reinsurance to help avoid insurance premium hikes this fall. 
If you have any questions about specific programs not listed above, or the upcoming fiscal year 2019 spending process, please contact me at tarmelino@nass.us.