In Washington, D.C., last week, the Republican-controlled House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee announced a new bill that could result in the removal of an estimated 220,000 teaching positions nationwide. The bill calls for $64 billion in budget cuts next year, with more than $20 billion of those cuts aimed at education programs.
In its current form, the bill would reduce U.S. Department of Education funding to its lowest levels since 2006. These cuts would affect both K-12 education and higher education funding. The bill would make cuts to federally funded education programs across the board, and certain programs would be totally eliminated as a result.
Notably, the plan would cut Title I grants to Local Education by $14.7 billion, down to just $3.7 billion in total. Title I grants provide direct assistance to schools serving economically disadvantaged students. More than half of the nation’s schoolchildren, about 25 million K-12 students in total, receive some Title I funding. These cuts would result in a reduction of services for those children, and they would likely result in significant teacher and school staff layoffs.
A few of the federally funded education programs that would be totally cut as a result of this bill’s passage include:
- The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Promise Neighborhoods
- Magnet School grants
- English Language Acquisition grants
- Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS)
The bill would also make cuts to many agencies other than the U.S. Department of Education. Notably, Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research, a program carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) intended to analyze gun-violence data and research effective measures for gun-violence prevention, would be eliminated.
Despite these billions of dollars in cuts, the subcommittee did increase funding for one program: charter schools. The bill would increase Charter School Program (CSP) funding, which goes directly to new and expanding charter schools, by $10 million.
Texas AFT stands with our national allies at AFT and the Network for Public Education (NPE) in opposition to these severe and reckless cuts. We encourage members to take action with NPE by sending a letter to your member of Congress, telling them to reject these cuts. It only takes a few seconds to make your voice heard.