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House Appropriators Endorse Dangerously Low Funding Levels for Education

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May 23, 2013

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House Appropriators Endorse Dangerously Low Funding Levels for Education

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a measure that caps federal discretionary funding at $966 billion for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. This amount is the maximum discretionary spending allowed under sequestration policy, and represents an $18 billion decrease from current FY 2013 funding.

Committee leaders also determined how they would divide that total among the 12 appropriations bills. The individual FY 2014 funding level, known as a 302(b) allocation, for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education will be $121 billion in the House, a reduction of over 18 percent from FY 2013! The level is so low because the House budget shifted all of the sequester cuts from defense programs to non-defense discretionary programs, including education and workforce development. From this amount, the appropriators will divide up funding for individual programs like Perkins. The Senate has not yet set funding caps for FY 2014, but they are expected to authorize higher levels than the House.

These reduced funding levels are on top of $85 billion in sequestration-mandated across-the-board cuts for FY 2013, with $58 million coming from Perkins! The House is expected to produce appropriations bills that will establish FY 2014 funding levels for Perkins and other programs within the next few months. Because the overall amount of funding available has been substantially reduced, the Perkins appropriation could be cut below the current level in the House bill. While we still have a long way to go, it is important that Congress understands that we cannot continue to cut federal resources for essential CTE programs. Tell Congress it’s time to make investing in CTE a priority!

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