House Releases FY16 Spending Agreement

The House released the text of a spending bill that would provide $1.067 trillion to government through the end of fiscal year 2016 and increases education discretionary spending by $1.171 billion. The spending measure increases funding for 36 education programs and decreases spending for 3 education programs, including School Improvement Grants by $55 million, and eliminates funding for Title I Evaluation,  Transition to Teaching and First in the World programs. All other programs were level funded, including the School Leadership program at $16.3 million.  The House and Senate are expected to take up this legislation by the end of this week.

The agreement includes a general provision clarifying that funds provided in this Act for ESEA formula grant programs for academic year 2016-2017 are to be administered under the provisions of the ESEA in effect prior to the passage of ESSA. The transition provisions in ESSA generally call for implementation of the new law starting with the 2017-2018 school year. The general provision and the funding levels and directives included in this agreement are consistent with that intent.

Lastly, Health and Human Services programs related to education fared well in the bill––Head Start received an increase of $570 million while Child Care Development Block Grants received saw a $326 million increase. As for higher education, none of the policy riders included in the House and Senate bills are included in the omnibus such as the gainful employment rider attached to the Senate LHHS bill earlier this year.

Source: Bernstein Strategy Group