Short-term bills that temporarily fund the federal government include $878.9 million in cuts to the U.S. Department of Education, eliminating 16 programs and reducing funding to six others.
The fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2010, but Congress and the president have not yet reached a resolution on a federal budget. Spending levels have been set in a series of continuing resolutions. The education cuts were made in a bill signed March 2; the subsequent bill, which expires April 8, retained the cuts.
The bill cut $633.5 million by eliminating:
- Striving Readers ($250 million)
- Smaller Learning Communities ($88 million)
- Even Start ($66.5 million)
- LEAP ($63.9 million)
- Arts in Education ($40 million)
- National Writing Project ($25.6 million)
- Reading is Fundamental ($24.8 million)
- Teach for America ($18 million)
- Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions ($15.1 million)
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards ($10.7 million)
- Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners ($8.8 million)
- Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational Institutions ($8.1 million)
- Special Olympics education programs ($8.1 million)
- Thurgood Marshall Legal Scholarships Program ($3 million)
- Close Up fellowships ($1.9 million)
- B.J. Stupak Olympic Scholarship Program ($1 million)
The bill cut $245.4 million by cutting funds to:
- Improving Teacher Quality State Grants ($5 million or 0.4%)
- Civic Education ($31.7 million or 90.4%)
- Fund for the Improvement of Education programs (earmarks) ($88.1 million or 70.2%)
- Technology and media services ($14 million or 31.8%)
- Demonstration and training (vocational rehabilitation) programs ($5.1 million or 43.9%)
- Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (earmarks) ($101.5 million or 72.4%)
Some of the eliminated programs receive other federal, private, and/or local government support.
In addition, the House passed a long-term continuing resolution in February that would fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2011. If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the bill would cut funding for education programs for the remainder of FY2011 by $11.55 billion (16.1%), the largest education cut in history. It would also cut Head Start by $1.1 billion (15%).
Check the ASHA website and the "News Watch" section of The ASHA Leader Online for updated information on federal budget issues.
President Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012—which begins Oct. 1, 2011—further complicates funding issues. The proposal, released Feb. 14, offers insight into the administration's policy and funding priorities, including areas of disagreement with congressional priorities. House Republicans are due to release their FY 2012 budget this month.