The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee met to mark up the FY2019 education-funding bill on the morning of June 15. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and labor programs—including the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, which provides federal funds leveraged by local school-community partnerships to provide quality afterschool and summer learning programs.
The Committee voted to approve the House LHHS FY2019 spending bill by a party line vote. The bill maintains the full current $1.212 billion funding level for 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) afterschool and summer learning programs. The Subcommittee rejected the Trump Administration’s FY2019 budget proposal that would have eliminated Community Learning Centers. Parents, program providers, students, and advocates all reached out this year to members of Congress in support of afterschool programs by participating in more than 200 meetings with Congressional offices and sending more than 31,100 emails and calls. Additionally, 600 organizations signed a letter in support of Community Learning Centers and more than 140 representatives and senators called for increased Community Learning Centers funding. This impressive outreach is a sign that the field of afterschool supporters is broad, dedicated, and passionate about the cause of afterschool — we must keep up the good work!
Budget breakdown in detail
The overall House LHHS FY 2019 spending bill funds the Department of Education at nearly $71 billion, which is $43 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Federal programs that support afterschool and summer learning were included in the bill, largely following the trend of continued bipartisan support for programs that inspire young people, keep children safe, and give parents peace of mind:
The bill also includes $3.85 billion to address substance use, including opioid and heroin abuse, which is $36 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $1.75 billion above the president’s budget request. This amount includes $1 billion for State opioid response grants, along with funding for programs authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
The appropriations process is far from over. The House LHHS FY2019 spending bill will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee next week and then may be combined with several other spending bills before heading to the House floor as early as later this summer.
The senate is scheduled to markup their Labor HHS spending bill on June 26 at the subcommittee level and then at the full Senate Appropriations Committee level on June 28. Fiscal year 2018 expires on September 30 and Congress is supposed to have all its appropriations bills passed and sent to the president’s desk by that date; however, in past years Congress has not been able to complete its work and instead passed a continuing resolution temporarily funding the government until final spending bills can be completed. It is likely a continuing resolution will be passed again this year with final spending decisions made this fall or early winter.
Take action: Send a message to your representatives
This year tens of thousands of parents and advocates have reached out to Congress in support of federal afterschool funding. As the appropriations process continues, it is imperative that senators and representatives hear from those in their states and districts about the value of federal afterschool funding in supporting local programs. Reach out to your members of Congress today in support of funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, and affirm that America's kids don't deserve a funding cut
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