The House and Senate worked to advance appropriations measures related to FY2018 funding and supplemental disaster relief packages for Hurricane Harvey. Details are below.
- House Action –The House began consideration of H.R. 3354, "Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018." This omnibus appropriations measure combined all 12 individual appropriations bills and included 224 additional amendments made in order by the House Rules Committee. The measure included education funding levels approved by the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee earlier in the summer. Overall, education programs were cut by $2.4 billion – the majority of the funding cuts ($2 billion) were to Title II, Part A of ESSA, which pertains to "Preparing, Training and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principal or Other School Leaders." Several amendments to restore Title II funds were submitted to House Rules Committee, but those amendments were not made in order. IDEA, Part B grants were increased by $200 million over FY2017 levels and Title I programs along with Perkins CTE state grants and ESEA State Assessment grants were level funded at FY2017 levels. The legislation did not include provisions to fund the Trump Administration's school choice initiative. The House will likely complete consideration of this legislation next week.
- Senate Action – The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee approved its FY2018 funding measure which included a $29 million increase overall for education funding over FY2017 levels. Specifically, the measure increases funding for the following programs:
- Title I programs are funded at $15.5 billion, a $25 million increase over FY2017
- Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants are funded at $450 million, a $50 million increase over FY2017
In addition, the measure maintains level FY2017 funding for several important programs:
- IDEA, Part B grants are funded at $12 billion
- Title II, Part A of ESSA (eliminated in the House bill) is funded at $2.1 billion
- Perkins CTE state grants are funded at $1.1 billion
The Full Senate Appropriations Committee also approved the funding measure. At this point, it is unknown when the measure will be considered on the Senate floor.
Hurricane Harvey Supplemental Disaster Relief Funding
Both the House and the Senate passed H.R. 601, the Hurricane Supplemental, Debt Limit, Continuing Appropriations and Flood Insurance Package. The legislation provides $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund, $450 million for the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program and $7.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, the measure extends FY2017 funding (set to expire on September 30th) through December 8th and lifts the debt limit through December 8th.
Courtesy NSBA Legislative Highlights 9/11/2017