By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Staff Reporter
The White House issued a statement on Monday in which the administration offered strong support for House appropriators’ efforts to bundle a spending package that would include a 41% increase above the fiscal year (FY) 2021 enacted level for Department of Education (ED) programs, matching the president’s budget request of $102.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for ED.
The House is aiming to advance that wide-ranging spending bill, for the 2022 fiscal year, before the end of the week at which time the chamber is expected to recess for the summer. While Democrats are mostly fully aligned with the appropriations process, Republicans are unlikely to offer any support citing the overall spending level as well as non-education-related policy riders.
As the measure currently stands it would provide a $2.6 billion increase for student aid programs, including an increase in the maximum Pell Grant by $400 that would boost the 2022-23 maximum award to $6,895 and expand the eligibility for Pell Grants to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and those with temporary protected status. This $400 increase in discretionary funding is the same as the increase included in President Joe Biden’s discretionary budget request.
The bill also includes increases for the campus-based aid programs, boosting the 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 administration’s budget request, which proposed maintaining FY 2021 spending levels for both programs.
The spending plan also provides other higher education programs with an increase of $889 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level by allocating $1.3 billion for Federal TRIO programs, and $408 million for GEAR UP.
Career technical education (CTE) would be funded at $2.2 billion, which is an increase of $208 million from the enacted level of FY 2021.
Even though the measure could pass the House with a number of amendments being sorted out throughout the late evenings of the week, the process still has a long way to go since the Senate has not yet released any of their spending bills for the fiscal year.
Further, the White House also indicated that it was interested in seeing some tweaking in the legislation’s language by offering “additional views” on the committee's version of the bill that deals directly with executive authority.
“The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress as the FY 2022 appropriations process moves forward,” the White House wrote.
Stay tuned to Today’s News for more developments on the appropriations process.
Publication Date: 7/28/2021
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