Congress Poised to Pass Annual Spending Bills
Congressional leaders announced this week that they have come to an agreement on the annual spending bills that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The government has been operating under a continuing resolution since October (a continuing resolution funds the government at the previous year’s levels). This agreement will allow Congress to begin work on the fiscal year 2023 spending bills, which should be signed into law by September 30.
The House and Senate are expected to pass the legislation in the coming days and President Biden is expected to sign it into law.
The spending package provides the following funding for the Department of Education:
- $59 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships, an increase of $7 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. This federal program supports partnerships between institutions of higher education and high-need local education agencies and schools to strengthen the teacher pipeline.
- $8 million for Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence to increase the number of exceptional minority educators by expanding and reforming teacher education programs at minority-serving institutions (MSIs). This is the first time this program has received funding.
- Increasing of the maximum Pell Grant by $400 to $6,895. This is the largest increase in the maximum award in more than a decade.
- $3 billion for higher education programs, an increase of $452 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. More specifically, the bill provides:
- $363 million for historically Black colleges and universities, an increase of $25 million above the FY 2021 enacted level
- $183 million for Hispanic serving institutions, an increase of $34 million above the FY 2021 enacted level
- $44 million for tribally controlled colleges and universities, an increase of $6 million above the FY 2021 enacted level
- $95 million for IDEA Personnel Preparation, an increase of $4.8 million. These funds are used to prepare special educators, early intervention specialists, special education administrators, special education higher education faculty, and specialized instruction support personnel.
- $235 million for apprenticeships, which the Department of Labor recently ruled can support grow-your-own teacher programs, is a critical development that will help address the nation’s educator shortfall and diversify the profession.
- $4.7 million for American History and Civics National Activities, an increase of $1.5 million. These grants promote innovative instruction, learning strategies, and professional development in American history, civics and government and Geography.
While AACTE appreciates the funding for key education programs and the work that went in to completing the bills, educator preparation programs have been underfunded for years. As a nation, we must invest in these programs to ensure that our students have access to profession-ready, diverse teachers. Without these programs, our students cannot meet their full potential and our economy and democracy will suffer for it.