July 21st, 2021

House Appropriations Committee Advances Education Funding Bill

The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-ED) appropriations bill was marked up and approved on 33 to 25 votes by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on July 15. The LHHS-ED funding bill increases Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funding by $55.2 billion overall, and provides substantial increases to special education programs. 

Specifically, the LHHS-ED appropriations bill allocates $102.8 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, including $17.2 billion for special education programs which is a $3.1 billion increase from FY 2021 funding. Here are some highlights from the bill that pertain to students with disabilities:

  • +$19.5 billion for schools with low-income students (Title I of ESSA) for a total of $36 billion
  • +$168.2 million to support teacher training and professional development programs (Title II of ESSA) for a total of $2.3 billion
  • +$202.6 million to support English language learners (Title III, Part A of ESSA) for a total of $1 billion
  • +$112 million to support educating the whole child (Title IV, Part A of ESSA) for a total of $45 million
  • + $100 million for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV, Part B of ESSA) for a total of almost $1.4 billion
  • +$2.6 billion for state grants (IDEA, Part B) for a total of $15.5 billion
  • +$13 million for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for a total of $144 million

NCLD is also pleased that the Committee approved an increase in funding for Head Start (additional $1.4 billion yields a total of almost $12.2 billion). The Childcare and Development Block Grant is receiving a total of close to $7.4 billion, which is around a $1.5 billion increase in funding from FY 2021. The Pell Grant Maximum increased from $6,495 to $6,895 per year, which promotes the pursuit of higher education for students impacted by poverty. Career and technical education programs were also increased, with $45.2 million of additional funding for a total of $1.4 billion. $29 million is budgeted for Special Olympics programs, which is also an increase from the FY 2021.

The Committee also reiterated Congress’ support for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), including report language about the importance of LD research conducted by the NICHD-funded Learning Disabilities Research Center and Innovation Hubs Program. After our advocacy efforts, including parent and young adult advocacy during LD Day of Action last month, we were pleased to see the House Appropriations Committee urging NICHD to continue its investments in LD research. The additional $99.4 million of funding brings the total budget to just under $1.7 billion. Furthermore, the nearly $93.4 million of additional funds for a total of over $2.1 billion for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is also favorable. We are pleased that Congress is prioritizing education by increasing funding greatly, including programs that support students with disabilities. The LHHS-ED appropriations bill increases funding to special education programs by 22%, which is more than the requested amount from President Joe Biden. NCLD appreciates the emphasis on support for students under the IDEA, mental health resources, and students typically underserved. 

The bill will next be voted on by the full House of Representatives before heading over to the Senate. The press release on the Committee approval can be found here. NCLD will continue to advocate for the increase of funds for federal programs that support students with disabilities throughout the FY 2022 appropriations process.  

Lily Raaka is a rising sophomore at Stanford University and is currently an intern at NCLD. 

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