U.S. House Passes Deep Education Cuts in the Wee Hours

In the wee hours of Friday night, the majority in the U.S. House passed a bill that would hurt students and working families. H.R. 1, a bill to cut spending in the current fiscal year, would cut school-improvement grants for struggling schools, Pell Grants for low-income college students, and Head Start and Title I aid for disadvantaged pupils. AFT President Randi Weingarten denounced the bill’s reckless cuts, noting that this slashing attack on vital public services “won’t help improve student achievement, won’t create one new job and will actually make it harder for kids to be prepared for life, college, and career.”

The bill next goes to the U.S. Senate, where it clearly will not find favor, and President Obama already has announced he would veto these House budget cuts. But the bill’s passage in the House presages a tough fight ahead over the next couple of weeks. Stopgap funding for federal services will run out on March 4, and some members of the U.S. House seem eager for a government shutdown if they don’t get their way on the budget. (A late House-passed floor amendment would repeal the provision of last year’s education-jobs bill that requires certain assurances of future state effort before the governor can lay claim to $830 million earmarked for Texas school districts. We’ll keep you posted on the fate of this amendment to H.R. 1 as the fight over the entire bill moves to the U.S. Senate.)