Congress Passes FY22 Omnibus Spending Legislation
After relying on a series of short-term funding extensions (known as Continuing Resolutions or CRs) for the first six months of the current 2022 federal fiscal year (FY22), Congress is close to enacting a full-year, comprehensive spending legislation. This has been an ongoing priority for NSBA’s advocacy team since the beginning of FY22 last October.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 9, lawmakers in the House unveiled a $1.5 trillion FY22 omnibus spending bill which combines all 12 regular appropriations bills covering the entirety of the federal government and related programs for the current federal fiscal year into a single legislative package. Initially, this package also contained additional supplemental aid to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and to meet unaddressed needs from the pandemic.
Late Wednesday night lawmakers in the House passed this omnibus package, via separate votes, on a bipartisan basis—after stripping out additional pandemic aid due to lack of support but leaving the Ukrainian aid in place—sending the package to the Senate for further consideration. Late last night the Senate took up and passed the omnibus by a margin of 68-31. With current federal funding set to expire late today (March 11), NSBA’S advocacy team expects President Biden to sign the legislation into law imminently, so as to avoid a lapse in federal appropriations.
The FY22 omnibus contains a number of new investments of note to the K-12 community. These include $1 billion in new funding for Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—a six percent increase over last year’s funding levels. In addition, this legislation provides a $27 million increase for ESSA Title II-A funding (six percent increase year-on-year), $7 million in additional funds for Teacher Quality Partnerships (a 13 percent increase), $60 million in additional funding for ESSA Title IV-A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, a 5 percent increase), and $400 million in additional state grant funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Part B).
NSBA’s advocacy team supports these and other critically important investments made through this legislation and will continue to provide the K-12 community with additional updates regarding this legislation’s impact on schools and districts as it advances towards formal enactment soon.
One item not included in the bill is extended waiver authority for the school meals program. NSBA had signed on to a letter last month asking that the USDA waiver authority be extended. When there were reports earlier this week that it might be excluded from the omnibus, NSBAC sent out an action alert to encourage members to weigh in to support continued waiver authority. The current waiver authority will expire on June 30.
USED published notice on a discretionary grant program for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – Early Childhood Systems Technical Assistance Center – This discretionary grant program works to improve academic achievement of children with disabilities. The Early Childhood Systems Technical Assistance Center priority will work to ensure capacity to create systems that support young children with disabilities across early childhood programs, provide equitable access to IDEA, and provide effective IDEA services “that reflect evidence-based and culturally and linguistically responsive interventions” to improve outcomes of young children with disabilities. The Administration intends to use $5,400,000 for this competition – the actual funding level will depend on final congressional action. Applications are due by May 6, 2022, and further information is available here.
- H.R.7040 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students and improve textbook price information. Sponsor: Rep. Neguse, Joe [D-CO-2]
- H.R.7038 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to fund the information clearinghouse through fiscal year 2029, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Morelle, Joseph D. [D-NY-25]
- H.R.7037 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide grants to hire and retain school social workers, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4]
- H.R.7027 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to improve program requirements, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Hayes, Jahana [D-CT-5]
- H.R.6971 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To establish a commission to promote information and media literacy, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8]
- H.R.6956 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To direct the Secretary of Education to carry out grant programs to encourage student participation in local government and volunteer service, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Kim, Andy [D-NJ-3]
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of March 11, 2022