Legislative Update: House Bill Would Cut 43 Education Programs

This morning, Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, introduced the first in a series of bills to move forward with reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill would identify and eliminate ineffective K-12 education programs, many that were defunded in the FY 2011 budget.

During his floor statement, Hunter remarked “It’s time to trim the fat. Today I will introduce legislation that will eliminate – not consolidate, not defund, but eliminate – 43 wasteful K-12 education programs.”

The bill, the Setting New Priorities in Education Act (H.R. 1891), would eliminate 43 of the more than 80 programs operated by the Department of Education. The bill proposes to eliminate each of the programs listed below.

Programs defunded in the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution

  • Even Start Family Literacy Program
  • Enhancing Education Through Technology
  • Striving Readers
  • National Writing Project
  • Ready to Learn Television
  • Smaller Learning Communities
  • Improving Literacy Through School Libraries
  • Improve Mental Health of Children, Mental Health Integration Schools
  • Improve Mental Health of Children, Foundations for Learning
  • Close Up Fellowship Program
  • Advanced Credentialing
  • Reading is Fundamental (RIF)
  • Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Whaling Partners
  • Women’s Educational Equity
  • Excellence in Economic Education
  • Parental Information and Resource Centers
  • Javits Gifted and Talented

Programs consolidated or eliminated in President Obama’s FY 2012 Budget

  • School Leadership
  • Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse
  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program
  • Teaching American History

Programs not recently funded

  • Mentoring Program
  • Comprehensive School Reform
  • Ready to Teach Grant Program
  • Additional Assistance for LEAs Impacted by Federal Property Acquisition
  • Community Technology Centers
  • Bilingual and Emergency Immigrant Education Program
  • Star Schools
  • Early Reading First
  • Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities, State Grants
  • Character Education
  • Early Childhood Educator Professional Development

Programs never funded

  • Healthy, High-Performance Schools
  • Combating Domestic Violence
  • Improving Language Instruction Educational Programs
  • Teacher Mobility

Programs that are duplicative or inappropriate for the federal government

  • Native Hawaiian Education
  • Alaska Native Education Equity
  • Foreign Language Assistance Program
  • Physical Education
  • Arts in Education
  • High School Graduation Initiative (Dropout Prevention)
  • Special Education Teacher Training

Republican members of the House continue to craft additional bills in the series on issues such as funding flexibility. A bill addressing accountability measures likely will not be introduced until the fall. Ultimately, bipartisan support will be necessary to pass final ESEA legislation in both the House and the Senate.

For a detailed summary of the first bill and the proposed list of eliminated programs, click here.

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