Tell Congress to increase Title I and IDEA in final funding bill
On the heels of passing yet another short-term funding bill—this one expires Dec. 20—House and Senate negotiators continue to seek agreement on a final funding bill for fiscal 2020, which began Oct 1. NEA is pushing for significant increases like those in H.R. 2740, the education appropriations bill passed by the House. The House bill includes a $1 billion increase for Title I, which provides extra financial help for school districts with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families, as well as a $1 billion increase for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In contrast, the pending Senate education appropriations bill provides no additional funding for either program.
Federal funding for Title and IDEA have not kept pace with inflation, growing enrollment, or student needs. This year, more than half the nation’s Title I-eligible school districts will have their Title I funds reduced, according to U.S. Department of Education allocations. The federal share of the excess cost of educating students with disabilities has declined for five consecutive years and is now just 14 percent—far below the 40 percent Congress promised to provide. Tell your senators and representative to match the House increases for Title I and IDEA in any final funding bill.TAKE ACTION
Tell Congress to put rural schools on a firm financial footing
A new report from the Rural School Community Trust underscores the urgent need to put rural schools on a firm financial footing—the same message conveyed by NEA’s letter urging Congress to renew the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Community Self-Determination Act and take additional steps to ensure long-term, reliable funding. First enacted in 2000, the law supports public education and community services in over 4,400 schools in 770 rural counties located near national forests. But funding has been inconsistent for the last three years—SRS expired at the end of 2018.
Now, rural areas across the country are facing budgetary shortfalls that could force big cuts in public education and other essential community services. Tell your representatives it’s time to put rural schools on a firm financial footing. TAKE ACTION
Cheers and Jeers
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) is leading a letter that urges President Trump and Congressional leadership to include a renewed commitment to investing in public schools in any national infrastructure plan.