This week, Congress passed an appropriations bill to fund Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 education programs. A small group of representatives from the Senate and the House met to agree on the FY 2019 Labor-HHS-Education and Defense appropriations package before voting on the final bill. The agreement will now go to the President for his signature before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

Overall, the total amount spent on education funding will remain the same for the upcoming year. However, many important programs that impact students with learning disabilities will be  increased, including:

  • $200 million increase to Head Start programs to support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age 5.
  • $100 million increase to Title I programs to assist districts and schools with high numbers of children from low-income families.
  • $95 million increase to the Career and Technical Education and Adult Education Program to provide students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers.
  • $86.5 million increase to IDEA Part B, Grants to States to assist states in providing a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities.
  • $70 million increase to Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants to increase access to programs that foster safe and healthy students, provide students with a well-rounded education, and increase the effective use of technology in schools.
  • $50 million increase to the Child Care Development Block Grant to provide child care services for low-income family members who work, train for work, attend school, or whose children receive or need to receive protective services.
  • $10 million increase to Education Innovation and Research Grants to create, develop, implement, replicate, or scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement.

While NCLD is pleased with Congress for continuing to fund essential programs that support public school students and educators, we are disappointed that money was taken from other important education programs to make this possible. The increases we’ll see next year came from a $600 million cut in funding for Pell grants — grants that help high-financial need students pay for college. We urge Congress to continue to support all education programs in the future. We won’t help all students reach their potential by cutting some programs to pay for others.

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