By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter
The House Appropriations Committee advanced, by a 33-25 vote along party lines, fiscal year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) spending bill, which contains an overall 41% increase above the FY 2021 enacted level for Department of Education (ED) programs, matching President Joe Biden’s budget request of $102.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for ED.
Specifically, the measure provides a $2.6 billion increase for student aid programs, including a $400 increase to the maximum Pell Grant that would boost the 2022-23 maximum award to $6,895. This $400 increase in discretionary funding is the same as the increase included in Biden’s discretionary budget request.
"With an increase of nearly $20 billion to strengthen Federal support for high-poverty schools, and a $400 increase for the maximum Pell Grant, we are making post-secondary education more affordable, accessible, and achievable for more students,” said committee Chairwoman Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).
The bill also includes increases for the campus-based aid programs, such as boosting Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) funding to $1.03 billion and increasing Federal Work-Study (FWS) spending to $1.43 billion. The funding levels proposed in the bill for SEOG and FWS are $148 million and $244 million more than FY 2021 spending, respectively, and are far greater than the SEOG and FWS funding included in the Biden administration’s budget request, which proposed maintaining FY 2021 spending levels for both programs.
Career technical education (CTE) would be funded at $2.2 billion, which is an increase of $208 million from the enacted level of fiscal year 2021.
The spending plan also provides higher education programs with an increase of $889 million above the FY 2021 enacted level by allocating $1.3 billion for Federal TRIO programs, and $408 million for GEAR UP.
The full committee did not take up any amendments related to education.
With the advancement of the spending plan, it sets the stage for House Democrats to bring a massive spending package to the floor in the near future — likely this summer in an attempt to avoid having to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running — which will include the Labor-HHS-Education measure.
For more information on the federal budget process, see NASFAA’s Federal Budget and Appropriations page and NASFAA’s budget FAQs and stay tuned to Today’s News for updates.
Publication Date: 7/16/2021