Federal Education Funding on the Chopping Block in 2011

A bid to provide full-year education funding for fiscal 2011, including some needed increases, failed in the U.S. Senate yesterday. The education funding was part of an omnibus bill containing funds for many different government programs. The Senate could not muster the supermajority of 60 members needed to overcome procedural obstacles to the bill’s consideration. It now appears that the lame-duck Congress will choose the worst available path forward—passing only a short-term extension of education spending at last year’s level, setting the stage for potentially severe cuts when the issue of full-year funding is taken up again early in the new year.