FY 2015 Appropriations: ‘CRomnibus’ Signed Into Law

On Tuesday, December 16, President Obama signed into law H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which distributes $1.1 trillion across the federal government.

U.S. Department of Education discretionary funding was cut by $166 million. The Teacher Quality Partnership program took only a small hit, reducing funding to around $40 million. We are grateful to our champions on the Hill, including Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), for the continued funding of this program.

In an unusual move, the bill combined a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the Department of Homeland Security (housing much of the federal government’s work on immigration) through February 27 and an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the rest of the government through the full fiscal 2015 (through September 30, 2015). This hybrid legislation has been dubbed “CRomnibus” after its two components.

The CRomnibus passed by a vote of 219-206 in the House and 56-40 in the Senate, with support and opposition coming from both parties.

One item of current interest from the bill addresses Statewide Data Systems, which are relevant to the proposed regulations for teacher preparation programs now open for public comment:

“[…] funds available to carry out section 208 of the Educational Technical Assistance Act may be used to link Statewide elementary and secondary data systems with early childhood, postsecondary, and workforce data systems, or to further develop such systems: Provided further, that up to $6,000,000 of the funds available to carry out section 208 of the Educational Technical Assistance Act may be used for awards to public or private organizations or agencies to support activities to improve data coordination, quality, and use at the local, State, and national levels.”

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Deborah Koolbeck

Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE

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