NAEYC CHILDREN’S CHAMPIONS UPDATE
JUNE 24, 2013
- Next Year's Appropriations Decisions Have Started
- Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – Includes Continuum of Learning Act Components
Next Year's Appropriations Decisions Have Started
Congress is working on next year’s discretionary funding (Fiscal Year 2014 which starts ). The first part of the process is determining how much overall each subcommittee can spend. Head Start, child care, early intervention and special education, K-12 and some higher education programs are all in the same appropriation bill, along with the other discretionary programs in the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor.
You will see below that there are very different approaches to the starting line amount for overall spending. The Senate is moving forward with an amount that assumes the end of sequestration. The House not only assumes sequestration continues, it also makes more cuts to discretionary domestic programs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee has adopted an overall discretionary funding level of $1.058 trillion – this amount assumes that sequestration will not go forward. Of that amount, $164.3 billion was given to the Labor/HHS/Education subcommittee.
The House Appropriations Committee has set a top-line level of $967 billion – this amount assumes next year’s budget will continue sequestration reductions. Of that amount, $121.8 billion was given to the Labor-HHS-Ed subcommittee, a level that is 18.6% below this year’s funding (taking into account sequestration). The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires that half of the additional annual cuts be imposed on military programs and half imposed on non-defense discretionary funding. Because the House plan increases the Pentagon budget by 5.4%, this means that vital funds would be shifted away from critical programs that help families meet basic needs such as child care, Head Start, and food assistance.
What Happens Next
We believe the Senate subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education appropriations will mark-up the week of and anticipate that the House Subcommittee also will take action in the same week. We will report to you the program-by-program levels proposed in each bill. Stay tuned for potential alerts.
Send in Your Stories About Sequester Impacts
Sequestration is taking us backwards at a time when we need to invest in education and economic growth – and it is set to continue for another nine more years unless Congress and the President can come to an agreement that ends it. It’s not too late to make your voice heard about the need to eliminate the sequester. Every week the Coalition for Human Needs publishes weekly summaries about how these cuts are negatively affecting people and programs all over the country. If you have stories to share about how the sequester has impacted you or the children and families you work with, you can send them to Danica Johnson at the Coalition for Human Needs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about key terms involved in sequestration and the appropriations process.
Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Moves a Step Forward:
Includes Continuum of Learning Act Components
The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives respective education committees marked up their very different approaches to the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA), sometimes known as No Child Left Behind, from its last reauthorization of 2001. We are pleased that the Senate version that passed out of committee contained several elements from the Continuum of Learning Act, which represents portions of our Call to Action. The House version maintained the current early childhood uses in the law. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) offered a substitute for the House chairman’s version which also included some provisions of the Continuum of Learning Act, although this substitute failed to pass the Committee. Both the Harkin and Miller reauthorization language included the following requirements: that states have developmentally appropriate standards in all domains and that the development of state and local Title I plans include the consultation of early childhood education representatives.
We will be producing a chart to compare the Continuum of Learning Act against the ESEA bill as it moves to the floor, urging more elements from the Continuum to be included. In particular, we would like to see elements from the Continuum that would prevent high-stakes uses of child assessments in second grade and younger; more professional development language for schools and community programs staff, leaders in child development, and collaboration in serving children birth through age 8; and language on “ready schools” reviews to ensure developmentally appropriate practices and policies in the K-3 grades.
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