K12 schools with large numbers of students from low-income families could be facing substantial cuts to Title I funding for fiscal year 2024, according to the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee. What does this mean?
Members of the committee on Thursday proposed an 80% cut to Title I grants for states with schools in which student enrollment is comprised of at least 40% of students from low-income families. According to the proposal, the slashes are necessary to reduce the amount of unspent federal dollars. For instance, nearly $31 billion provided during the pandemic remains untouched, “and further investments will not be provided until these funds are used responsibly,” a summary of the bill reads.
It also seeks to eliminate programs that do not align with the core mission of the Education Department, including:
- Teacher training initiatives that send teachers to “expensive weekend workshops.”
- Programs that support organizations “that seek to undermine the unity of our country.”
- Duplicative or rather niche programs.
However, the bill includes funding for the continuation of several programs, such as:
- School safety programs, charter schools and the Impact Aid Program.
- $14.2 billion for special education programs.
- Career and technical training grants.
In a statement on Friday, Democratic members of the House Committee on Appropriations said the proposal is an “assault on education and job training, decimates research funding, and abandons ongoing public health crises.”
According to the statement, Democrats declare that this year’s Republican allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill was the lowest it’s been since 2008. They also worry that it will further exacerbate the already dire teacher shortage.
“When 161 House Republicans voted earlier this year to eliminate all K12 funding at the Department of Education, I was horrified, but that was just the beginning,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Now, in the midst of a teacher shortage, they have introduced a bill that would kick 220,000 teachers from classrooms. We are witnessing a widespread attack on public education that should horrify all of us.”
The proposal has since been cleared by the House Appropriations’ Labor Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee for later consideration.