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Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Legislative Update: House Passes FY14 Budget Proposal; House Passes Continuing Resolution

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

House Passes FY14 Budget Proposal
The House yesterday moved to pass H.Con.Res.25 to establish the budget for the U.S. government for FY 14 and set forth appropriate budgetary levels for FY 15 through FY 23. Chairman Ryan’s budget proposal for FY14, with 221 votes cast in favor of the measure and 207 votes against it. Ten Republicans voted against passage. As reported in a previous blog post, H.Con.Res.25 proposes an 11.7 percent reduction in overall non defense discretionary (NDD) spending in FY14, which includes Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) funding. The Senate is currently debating amendments to their own budget proposal (S.Con.Res.8).Once the final version passes in the Senate, a Conference Committee will be held to discuss differences between the House and Senate proposals and for compromise to be reached.

Houses Passes Continuing Resolution
The House yesterday also passed the Senate-approved Continuing Resolution. This decision means the bill is passed to President Obama to sign. The bill, which will presumably be signed into law, would not require any additional cuts to Perkins other than the already agreed upon 5 percent cut from sequestration.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Senate Passes Continuing Resolution; House Republican and Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals; Senate Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals; President’s FY14 Budget Proposal

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Senate Passes Continuing Resolution

On March 20, the Senate voted 73-26 to pass its version of the FY13 continuing resolution (CR). This CR would see all Department of Education programs funded at their FY13 levels and then cut 5% by the sequester. It is important to note that the Senate passed CR does not include the 0.098% across the board cut that was included in the House approved CR.

The House must now decide whether or not to accept the Senate version, which would mean dropping the 0.098% across the board cut,  and pass the bill to the President to sign or to try to work across the chambers to resolve the differences between the two proposals. NASDCTEc will continue to monitor this ever-changing and very active policy environment and provide you with more information on the emerging budget and sequestration decisions being made. Because the Perkins Act is forward funded, the decisions made with this CR would effect the funding that states get on July 1, 2013.

House Republican and Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently announced his plan for the FY14 budget (H.Con.Res.25). The measure, which passed through the House Budget Committee last week on a party line vote of 22-17, is expected to be voted on later today and would see an 11.7% reduction in overall non defense discretionary (NDD) spending in FY14. NDD spending includes all education and workforce funding, including Perkins. Budget proposals generally do not provide recommendations for program level increases or decreases but instead provide a broad framework, an overall cap on spending, and guidelines for where investments should be made. The Ryan budget proposal does not provide details on which programs would be reduced to achieve the 11.7% reduction in NDD, so it is unclear of the implications of this proposal on Perkins funding. The Ryan proposal does recommend moving the Community College/TAA Grant program, which is administered by the Department of Labor, to the discretionary side of the budget; it is currently on the mandatory side of the budget.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, had offered up an alternative budget proposal on behalf of House Democrats that would rescind the sequestration cuts. The proposal recommended maintaining the current investment in education programs and also lacks the detail necessary to know what impact would be had on Perkins funding, however the House yesterday rejected the Van Hollen budget along with all other budget substitutes.
Senate Democrat FY14 Budget Proposals

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) also announced her plan for the FY14 budget (S.Con.Res.8). The proposal would see the sequester eliminated, resulting in more Perkins funding in future years than currently expected. It would also see $4 trillion in savings reached over ten years, as had been recommended by the Simpson-Bowles Commission. Debate on the measure had been held up until the Senate had passed a bill on the FY13 continuing resolution. Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, 50 hours of debate are allowed on the budget, meaning deliberations could go on until Saturday evening. The divide between the political parties is clear when comparing the budget proposals, with fierce debates expected as the measures move forward. Once both the House and the Senate pass their respective proposals, a Conference Committee will be held, allowing differences between the proposals to be discussed and for compromise to be reached.


President’s FY14 Budget Proposal
The President’s FY14 budget proposal has yet to be released. Typically, this proposal is released in early February and kicks off the budget debates. However, the President’s proposal, expected in early to mid-April, will be coming along when the Congressional debates may well be complete.
David Beckett, Advocacy Manager

By David in Legislation, Public Policy
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Sequestration Updates

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

New Sequester Report

 

The House Appropriations Committee Democrats recently released a new sequestration report – A Report on Consequences of Sequestration – that examines the impact of sequestration on a number of federal programs. In the education sphere, the report does not discuss Perkins or CTE, but does say that Title I Grants would be cut by more than $1 billion, impacting over 4,000 schools serving nearly 2 million disadvantaged students. In the Labor Department, cuts to Job Corps would reduce by approximately 4,300 the number of at-risk youth served.

 

Bipartisan Group of Senators Working on Deal

 

The so-called “Gang of Six,” which has been meeting to devise a bipartisan grand bargain on deficit reduction has added two more members to their ranks – Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE). It is unclear what kind of leverage the group will have during the lame duck session when Congress re-convenes to find an alternative to sequestration.

 Nancy Conneely, Director of Public Policy

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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First Presidential Debate Addresses Economy, Education and Deficit

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Last night President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney met in Denver for the first of three presidential debates. This debate, moderated by Jim Lehrer, focused on domestic issues, with both candidates frequently citing the need to improve public education in order to prepare students with the skills they need to succeed. When asked about how he would go about creating new jobs, President Obama stated that we have improve our education system, hire more math and science teachers, keep college affordable, and create two million more openings at community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that exist today.

Governor Romney explained that his plan for economic recovery would include streamlining workforce training programs. He referenced the finding from a GAO report that there are 47 job training programs (including Perkins, according to GAO) reporting to eight different federal agencies. Romney suggested that these programs would be better managed at the state level, saying, “Overhead is overwhelming. We’ve got to get those dollars back to the states and go to the workers so they can create their own pathways to get in the training they need for jobs that will really help them.”

Lehrer then moved on to how each candidate would tackle the growing deficit. Romney said that, firstly, he would apply the following test to all federal programs: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, he would eliminate it. Second, he would move programs that he believes could be run more efficiently at the state level and send them to the state. Finally, he would increase government efficiency by reducing the number of employees, and combining some agencies and departments. President Obama stated that, in addition to raising revenues, he would cut programs that are not helping the economy grow. He pointed out his Administration has already eliminated a number of federal programs, including 18 ineffective education programs.

In response to a question about the role of the federal government in public education, Governor Romney said that he thinks that federal education funds should follow the student, allowing parents to decide where to send their child to school. President Obama stated that the great work being done by community colleges with business support to train people for jobs, also requires some federal support.

Obama and Romney then sparred over budget proposals and how they can impact choices about support for federal education programs. Obama questioned how Romney would be able to pay for his support of education programs when his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan’s, budget proposal would cut federal education spending by 20 percent. Romney countered by saying, “I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and—and grants that go to people going to college…I don’t want to cut our commitment to education. I want to make it more effective and efficient.” However, if Romney were to implement Ryan’s budget plan, and keeps his promise to not cut education that would mean deeper cuts for other areas of the federal government.

The next Presidential debate will take place on October 16, 2012 and will focus on foreign and domestic policy. Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Ryan will meet for their only debate next Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST and will also cover foreign and domestic policy.

Nancy Conneely, Director of Public Policy

By Nancy in Public Policy
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OMB Releases Sequestration Report

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this afternoon released the OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, as required by Congress. According to OMB’s estimates, non-exempt nondefense discretionary federal programs will be cut by 8.2 percent if sequestration occurs on January 2, 2013. The report does not get down to the program level, so we do not have official numbers on the amount the Perkins could be cut, but based on our rough estimates, Perkins could be reduced by approximately $92 million. The total cut to Department of Education programs would be $4.113 billion.

OMB’s determination that the cut from sequestration would be 8.2 percent is based on the assumption that FY13 discretionary spending will be at FY12 levels. However, as we told you earlier this week, the 6 month continuing resolution increases FY13 spending 0.612 percent above FY12 levels. Therefore, the final sequestration percentage will likely be slightly different than 8.2 percent.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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OMB Delays Release of Sequestration Report

Friday, September 7th, 2012

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was scheduled to release a report on the impact of sequestration yesterday, as required by the Sequester Transparency Act. However, that did not happen, and it is now looking like it will not be released until late next week. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say:

“Given the time needed to address the complex issues involved in preparing the report, the administration will be submitting that report to Congress late next week. No amount of planning changes the fact that sequester would have devastating consequences. We need to deal with our fiscal challenges in a balanced way.”

We will let you know when the report is released, and what it has to say about the impact of sequestration on Perkins Act funding.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Webinar: Federal Funding Update: FY 13 and Sequestration

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Over the last several years federal funding for many programs, including Perkins, has been slashed. Following this trend of shrinking budgets along with the looming threat of sequestration, Fiscal Year 13 could result in more cuts. Join Nancy Conneely, NASDCTEc’s Public Policy Manager, as she walks you through the federal funding maze. During this webinar you will hear about Fiscal Year 13 federal funding, the Budget Control Act, and sequestration.

When: Tuesday, September 25th at 3 p.m. ET

To register, please go to: https://nasdcte.adobeconnect.com/_a998116607/fedfunding/event/event_info.html

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Webinars
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New Poll Reveals Shifting Views of Public Education

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

This year’s PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools shows that the public’s opinion concerning education and funding is shifting. When asked in 1996, whether it was more important to balance the federal budget or improve the quality of education, nearly two thirds of respondents said “improve education.” However, this year 60 percent said that it’s more important to balance the federal budget. Given the state of the economy in 1996 versus today, this shift could be in response to the fiscal crises occurring at all governing levels in recent years.

That being said, the poll also revealed that the public feels that lack of funding is the biggest challenge facing public schools in their communities, with 35 percent of those surveyed citing it as the top challenge, compared with 23 percent a decade ago. Parents, at 43 percent, felt even more strongly that lack of funding is the number one challenge facing public schools.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Proposes Cutting Education Spending

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Last week Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his Plan for a Stronger Middle Class, which lays out his plan for increasing jobs and wages. In it, he proposes giving people greater access to affordable and effective higher education options, and focusing job training programs on skills that align with employment opportunities.

However, Governor Romney’s plan also indicates that as President he would immediately reduce non-defense discretionary spending by five percent. A five percent cut to the Department of Education’s discretionary spending would result in a reduction of $3.4 billion (based on FY12 discretionary appropriations).

The plan also calls for capping federal spending below 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, total federal spending in FY12 is 23.4 percent of GDP. To reduce federal spending to 20 percent of GDP would require an aggregate cut of nine percent per year for the next decade. But since Governor Romney opposes cutting defense spending, as well as cutting Social Security for those 55 and over, that would actually result in cuts of between 29 and 40 percent for remaining programs over the next 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And remember, these potential cuts to non-defense discretionary programs (like education) would be in addition to the cuts and spending caps currently required by the Budget Control Act.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Obama Administration Must Release Details of Sequestration Cuts Within 30 Days

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

President Obama today signed into law the Sequestration Transparency Act, which requires the Administration to detail what the $110 billion in sequestration cuts will look like in Fiscal Year 2013. The Administration must issue its report to Congress within 30 days. The bill was a show of bipartisanship in Congress at time when the House and Senate have a hard time agreeing on anything. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent last month and passed the House by a vote of 414-2. Congress is expected to try to negotiate an alternative to sequestration during the lame duck session that will save $1.2 trillion over ten years.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation
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