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Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

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Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

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:

  • Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies: $15.76 billion, level with FY2018 funding. Title I provides basic and flexible funding to low-income school districts to improve student outcomes. Schools are able to spend Title I funds on afterschool and summer learning programs.
  • Title II-A Funds for Teacher Professional Development: $2.057 billion level with FY2018.
  • Title IV Full Service Community Schools: $17.5 million, level with FY2018. This funding through the Department of Education helps support community school development and expansion at the local level.
  • Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.2 billion (increased by $100 million) is proposed for school districts established under ESSA to support activities that provide students with a well-rounded education, ensure safe and supportive learning environments, and use technology to improve instruction. Allowable uses for the grant include support for afterschool STEM. 
  • TRIO and GEAR UP: $1.06 billion and $360 million respectively. These programs help first-generation college students prepare for, enter, and complete college, and are increased by $50 million for TRIO and $10 million for GEAR UP over FY2018.
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $5.226 billion, level with the historic increase provided in FY2018. In addition to supporting child care for children ages birth through five, the CCDBG funds afterschool programs for just under one million school age children.
  • Career, Technical and Adult Education - The bill provides $1.9 billion for career, technical and adult education programs, an increase of  nearly $115 million over fiscal year 2018, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to continue to develop their skills after high school and enter into good?paying jobs.
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program: Eliminates all $108 million for this evidence-based program based in the Department of Health and Human Services that supports in part afterschool pregnancy prevention programs.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: The bill includes $1.06 billion for CNCS, the same as last year’s enacted level. CNCS supports AmeriCorps and VISTA that are a key asset for hundreds of afterschool programs.
  • Community Services Block Grant: The bill provides a $35 million increase for this program for a total of $780 million for Community Service programs. 

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.

What's next?

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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