FY24 Appropriations Update: A Tale of Two Chambers: House and Senate Advance Drastically Different Education Budgets

July 28, 2023

This is part two of a blog post on FY24. You can read part one here

Congress is not really putting the FUN in education funding when it comes to FY24 appropriations. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, a bill that both raised the debt ceiling while also implementing spending caps for FY24 and FY25 (Read more about it on our previous blog post). Best case scenario, for FY24 we would anticipate level funding for education programs. So what are we looking at?

House FY24 Budget: This is a very bad budget for education. The House appropriations committee is set to consider a budget that could gut education—peep the details in our previous blog post. While we can reasonably anticipate that House Republicans moved such a drastic bill because they know it won’t pass the Senate and they can rely on the Senate to move something more measured, reasonable, and possibly bipartisan, it is still a relevant proposal, if only because it represents the starting point of negotiations. If this were limbo, it would be a winner (how LOW can they go?), but we are talking about funding for schools. And this proposal, as the starting point for negotiations, is so low that any compromise—while making the bill less bad—would still make it no good.  We do not yet have a scheduled vote for the full House Appropriations Committee. Check back to the blog for our call to action and our talking points.

Senate FY24 Budget: While we had previously detailed the House proposal on the blog, the Senate numbers were just released and adopted on Thursday July 27. Overall, the bill includes  a tiny increase for USED compared to FY23 (an increase of 0.2%, or $147 million). The bill does not eliminate any programs, and freezes funding for most programs at FY23 levels. Of those programs receiving increases, most of those bumps are very small and only five are over $100 million. They are:

  • Title I state grants – up $175 million (1.0%), to $18.6 billion
  • IDEA Part B state grants – up $175 million (1.2%), to $14.4 billion
  • Student aid administration – up $150 million (7.4%), to $2.2 billion
  • Outside of US Education Department
    • At Health and Human Services
      • Child Care and Development Block Grants – up $700 million (9%), to $8.7 billion
      • Head Start – up $275 million (2.3%), to $12.3 billion

A few other programs had increases of $10-$40 million, including:
  • Career Technical education state grants – up $40 million (2.8%), to $1.5 billion
  • Title IV-A – up $20 million (1.4%), to $1.4 billion
  • IDEA grants for infants – up $20 million (3.7%), to $560 million
  • IDEA personnel preparation – up $20 million (17.0%), to $135 million
  • Teacher Quality Partnerships – up $13 million (18.6%), to $83 million. I believe the manager’s amendment cut the increase to $83 million and added $2 million more to FIPSE for the Open Textbook Pilot.
  • Impact Aid – up $10 million (0.6%), to $1.6 billion

Makes a few cuts in K-12 education, campus-based aid, and research – The bill cuts funding for several programs. The largest cuts include:
  • Community project funding (aka, earmarks) – cut $340 million, to a total of $290 million throughout ED 
  • Teacher and School Leader Incentive grants – cut $53 million (31%), to $120 million
  • Education Innovation and Research – cut $44 million (15%), to $240 million
  • Career Technical Education national programs – cut $20 million (62%), to $12 million

So what’s next? The House and Senate are now adjourned for recess and not scheduled to be back in town until September. The House and Senate are only scheduled to be in session for three and four weeks, respectively, ahead of the start of FY24 on October 1.We’ll use the August recess and month of September as a long timeline to weigh in on the impact of these budget proposals. Until we have our specific FY24 talking points, make use of our updated memo that details the share of federal dollars in our nation’s public school district budgets.