FY18 Federal Spending Bill Passed; President Threatens Veto

In the late evening of March 21, the text of the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus was released. Coming in at 2,232 pages, the bill includes items well beyond funding of the federal government’s discretionary programs, at a total cost of $1.3 trillion to fund the government through September 30, 2018.

The U.S. Senate passed the measure in the first hour of March 23, sending the package to President Trump for his signature; later that same morning, the president tweeted out a veto threat. With members of Congress headed home or attending the funeral of a colleague, if the president vetoes the measure, the government will shut down.

Funding Levels for Key Educator Preparation Programs

Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act $2.1 billion (flat funded)
Teacher Quality Partnership Grants $43.1 million (flat funded)
Supporting Effective Educator Development $75 million ($10 million increase)
School Leader Recruitment and Support Grants $0
Special Education Personnel Preparation $84 million (flat funded)

In addition, you can review the Explanatory Statement on the Department of Education funding (starting on p. 60, with charts for specific programs starting on p. 125).

Other key items to note:

The Pell grant maximum was raised to $6,095 for the 2018-19 school year, an increase of $175.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program had a cancellation fund created to support a key demographic of potential candidates. The bill authorizes $350 million for the secretary to provide loan cancellation for certain borrowers who would otherwise qualify for PSLF but are in extended or graduated programs. The secretary of education would provide loan cancellation for such otherwise eligible borrowers as long as the most recent loan payment and the payment made 12 months before applying for cancellation are each not less than the amount the borrower would have made under a qualifying Income Driven Repayment plan. In addition, the bill provides funds for outreach to borrowers who intend to apply for PSLF to be sure they meet the terms and conditions of the program.

Please stay tuned for more information as the bill is analyzed, or feel free to e-mail me with specific questions at dkoolbeck@aacte.org.

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Deborah Koolbeck

Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE