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CEF's funding table and short analysis of omnibus 2017 appropriations package

Monday, May 1, 2017


Education Funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill


The FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill filed early this morning provides $68.2 billion for the Department of Education (ED), but once you factor in the $1.3 billion rescission from the Pell grant reserve the funding level drops to $66.9 billion, a net cut of $1.1 billion compared with the comparable 2016 level. The bill does not make the major cuts suggested last month by the Trump Administration, with most existing programs receiving about what they did last year.  The House and Senate are expected to approve the package before the current funding bill expires on midnight on Friday.


The attached table shows funding from FY 2014 through FY 2017 for the education and related programs that CEF tracks.  There are a few cases where the FY 2016 level noted in the conference agreement table is slightly off from the level that ED lists as enacted for the program, so I still need to get to the bottom of that.


Notable large items:

  • Student Support and Academic Achievement state grants (Title IV-A) – the bill provides $400 million for this new grant created by the Every Student Succeeds Act and authorized at $1.6 billion as a formula grant program intended to replace a number of smaller categorical programs. However, the bill provides instead that states have the discretion to distribute their share of the $400 million on a competitive basis.
  • Pell grants – The good news is that the bill reinstates year-round Pell grants, allowing an estimated 1 million students to receive a third grant in a given year so they can attend school during summer in addition to two other academic sessions. Also, under current law, the maximum grant increases with inflation by $105, up to $5,920. The bad news is that that funding overall is cut.  The $254 million cost for FY 2017 of year-round Pell grants is paid for with mandatory funds provided in prior years to support the discretionary Pell grant.  FY 2017 discretionary funding is frozen at the 2016 level of $22.5 billion, but the bill rescinds $1.3 billion of previously appropriated Pell grant funding that was saved as a surplus until it is needed.  This rescission does not affect the award for the coming year but lowers reserves available for the future. 
  • Supporting Effective Instruction state grants (Title II) – $2.1 billion, a cut $294 million (13%).  The President’s 2018 budget eliminates this program. 


Notable increases:

  • Title I – $15.5 billion, up $550 million (4%).
  • Special education – $12 billion, up 1%, which maintains the federal share of the extra costs of educating children with disabilities at approximately 16% of per pupil expenditures.
  • Impact Aid – $1.3 billion, up $23 million (2%)
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers – $1.2 billion, up $25 million (2%).  President Trump’s FY 2018 budget eliminates this program.
  • Charter schools – $342 million, up $9 million (3%)
  • Indian Education – $165 million, up $21 million (15%)
  • Education for Homeless Children and Youth – $77 million, up $7 million (10%)
  • TRIO programs – up $50 million (6%)


Education-related programs:

  • Head start – $9.3 billion, up $85 million
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant – up $95 million to $2.9 billion


Summaries and Tables:

Division H, Title III, of the Statement of Managers describes the education provisions (starting on page 48) and has a table for funding of programs within the Department of Education (starting at page 109).


House Appropriations:

  • Chairman Frelinghuysen’s summary
  • Ranking Member Lowey’s summary


Senate Appropriations:

  • Chairman Cochran’s summary
  • Ranking Member Leahy has not yet published a summary


Sarah Abernathy,

Deputy Executive Director

1800 M Street, NW

Suite 500 South

Washington, DC 20036

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