After tweeting a veto threat, President Donald Trump Friday afternoon signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress, averting a government shutdown.  This bill provides funding to schools in the 2018-19 school year, including Secure Schools/Forest Counties funding vital to Northern Minnesota rural districts.

Noelle Ellerson of AASA (the national school superintendent association) provided the following update to MREA and other members:

Final Hours

FY18 dollars will be in schools during the 2018-19 school year. Given that we are almost halfway through FY18, Congress has relied on a series of short-term continuing resolutions to keep government funded and running, with two brief shutdowns. The final continuing resolution was set to expire at midnight on March 22, meaning the timing of the bill forced an expedited floor vote schedule in both the House and the Senate.

The House and Senate both passed the bill on Thursday/early hours of Friday morning, sending the bill to the President’s desk for signature. Despite tweets to the contrary, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations FY ’18 into law.

Secure Rural Schools

This bill reauthorizes and provides two years of funding for the Secure Rural Schools/Forest Counties program. (Read the related AASA letter.)

Overview: HR 1625 provides $1.3 trillion for FY18. It includes $629 billion in base defense funding and $579 billion in base non-defense funding. These levels reflect the recent Bipartisan Budget Act, which raised the FY18 budget caps on discretionary spending for both defense and non-defense discretionary funding.

As a point of clarification, federal education funding lies, generally, in the Labor/Health/Human Services/Education/Other (LHHS) appropriations bill, which is in the non-defense discretionary (NDD) portion of the budget. Overall, the bill provides $600 billion in NDD funding, in part fueled by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 NDD cap increase of $63 billion. Specific to education, the bill provides a $3.9 b increase to USED, providing a total of $70.9 b for FY18.

While this represents a significant increase and is a welcome level of investment, it is important to note that if FY12 USED funding levels ($68.1 b) kept pace with inflation, it would currently be funded at $74.8 b. The bill rejects the Trump administration’s continued efforts to further advance their privatization agenda. Program-specific funding levels are detailed below, and followed by a list of linked resources related to the omnibus bill.

E-12 Funding Details

  • Early Education
    • Head Start: $610 million increase
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $2.37 billion increase
  • K12 Programs
    • ESSA Title I: $300 million increase to $15.8 billion
    • ESSA Title IV: $700 million increase to $1.1 billion
    • IDEA State Grants (Part B): $275 million increase to $12.3 billion
    • Impact Aid: $86 million increase, to $1.4 billion
    • Charter Schools: $58 million increase, to $400 million
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers: $20 million increase, to $1.2 billion
    • State Assessments: $8.9 million increase to $378 million
    • Career and Technical Education State Grants: $75 million increase to $1.193 billion
    • Homeless Youth/Children: $8 million increase to $85 million
    • Native Hawaiian Education: $3 million increase to $36 million
    • Alaska Native Education: $3 million increase to $35 million
    • Rural Education: $5 million increase to $181 million
    • Promise Neighborhoods: $5 million increase to $78 million
    • Indian Education: $15 million increase to $180 million
    • ESSA Title II: Level funded at $2.056 billion
    • Innovative Approaches to Literacy: Level funded at $27 million
    • Migrant Students: Level funded at $375 million
    • Neglected/Delinquent Students: Level funded at $48 million
    • Comprehensive Literacy Development grants: Level funded at $190 million
    • English language Acquisition: Level funded at $737 million
  • Other
    • Opioid Crisis: $3 billion increase for programs to respond to crisis, including $2.7 billion increase for prevention, treatment, surveillance, research, and more.
    • Center for Disease Controls: $806 million increase for CDC, as well as language that allows CDC to conduct gun violence prevention research
    • Secure Rural Schools/Forest Counties: The bill reauthorizes and provides two years of funding for the SRS program. (Read the related AASA letter.)
    • Firearms and Training: Includes language to prohibit the use of federal funds to purchase firearm or for firearm training for educators
    • Transportation for Integration: Retains language to continue prohibition on federal funds from being used for transportation to support public school racial integration (Read the AASA letter opposing this language.)

Related Resources