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Teacher-Quality Spending on Federal Chopping Block

The U.S. House is poised to take a big axe to a bunch of federal teacher-quality programs. 

A panel of House appropriators put forth the spending plan last week, as my colleague Andrew Ujifusa wrote, and the House Committee on Appropriations approved the bill, 31-19, this morning.

Among the program it proposes cutting are the major teacher-quality grant, now called Supporting Effective Instruction State grants. 

This is the big formula grant program, also called Title II-A, that goes to every state and district and funds things like class-size reduction, teacher professional development, and teacher evaluation reforms. Funding for it has declined since reaching a peak appropriation of nearly $3 billion in 2008. Under the proposed cut, the program would be reduced to $1.9 billion, down from $2.4 billion in fiscal 2016. 

The cut would continue a trend downward over the last few years, thanks to smaller appropriations and a set-aside carved out of the program. If the proposed House cut comes to pass, the program would be down by about a third overall since 2008.

Separately, the committee also zeroed out the $43 million Teacher Quality Partnership programs, which supports efforts to improve teacher preparation. An amendment to restore the program failed in committee.

Remember, any bill would have to clear the House floor, be reconciled with the Senate's version, and get President Obama's signature, so there's room for changes yet.

Meanwhile, take a look at the chart below to see how Title II funding has waned over time.


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For more on the federal teacher-quality grants:


 

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