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More Details on the House Education Funding Bill

Last week, we reported on key aspects of the spending bill that was approved by the House panel overseeing education funding, such as the increases for the Title IV block grant and special education and the cuts to the Department of Education's overall budget.

The House appropriations committee has now released line-item information about Education Department appropriations to various programs (see page 247 at the link), so we can fill you in on a few more details before the full committee meets Wednesday. 

• Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and the top Democrat on the panel that approved the bill last week, said that literacy programs were cut. According to the charts released by the committee, the Comprehensive Literacy Development grants would be slashed from $190 million in the fiscal 2016 enacted budget to $160 million in the fiscal 2017 spending bill.

(House appropriators also declined to fund the Obama administration's $27 million request for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program—that program was not funded in fiscal 2016.)

• DeLauro also indicated that state teacher quality grants had been cut significantly. The appropriations charts show that the House bill would slash the Supporting Effective State Instruction grants from $2.35 billion to $1.95 billion, a $400 million cut. The Senate, meanwhile, proposed a smaller cut of nearly $300 million. 

• Funding for state assessments would be cut from $378 million to $300 million in fiscal 2017. That's despite the fact that the new administration proposed a $25 million increase for the program. A Senate version of the spending bill sought to keep the program funded at current levels. 

• As we indicated last week and can now confirm, the $120 million Education Innovation and Research program has been eliminated in the spending bill approved last week.

Mathematics and Science Partnerships, which focuses on the education of teachers in those subjects, would also lose its entire appropriation of $152 million.

• Funding assistance to magnet schools would also get the axe and lose its $96 million appropriation from fiscal 2016. 

• Total spending on Indian education would rise by $31 million, up to $175 million. 

• The office for civil rights would get a $7 million reduction, down to $100 million. 

The House spending bill differs in some respects from the version approved by the Senate last month. For example, the House would provide $1 billion to the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program in Title IV, or the "giant block grant" as we've been calling it that's new under the Every Student Succeeds Act, compared to the $300 million approved in the Senate bill and the $500 million requested in Obama's budget. And special education state grants would get a $500 million boost under the House bill, compared to a $40 million increase in the Senate bill. 

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