FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Includes Increase for Perkins


FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Includes Increase for Perkins

Last week marked a big week for Congress’ work on both Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) and 2019 (FY19) appropriations. Read below to learn more about what was included for education and workforce programs in the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill, the FY19 “Dear Colleague” letters to request a strong investment in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) Basic State Grants and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ testimony on the President’s FY19 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Education.
FY18 Omnibus Signed Into Law, Perkins Receives $75 Million Increase
Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed an omnibus appropriations bill for FY18. Notably, the omnibus included a $75 million boost to the Perkins Basic State Grant, bringing this investment up to nearly $1.2 billion. This increase will be allocated to states based on the federal to state formula included in Title I of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). You can find more information about the the omnibus in Advance CTE’s press release and some notable increases (compared to FY17 levels) to education and workforce programs are outlined below:

  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment state grants, grants authorized under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) received a $700 million increase.

  • Congress authorized an increase in the maximum award for federal Pell Grants. Eligible students could receive up to $6,095 for the 2018-2019 academic year, compared to the current $5,920 per year.
  • State formula grants provided through Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) were increased by $80 million.
  • Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants were increased by $35 million.
  • Apprenticeship grants received a $50 million increase.

Looking for additional information on program allocations? The National Skills Coalition has a helpful table that compares the FY17 and FY18 omnibus appropriations levels for key education and workforce programs and the Committee for Education Funding has a new table that shows the FY16, FY17 and FY18 appropriations levels as well as the Presidents’ FY18 and FY19 requests for many education programs.
170 Representatives Sign Letter to Support Federal Investment in Perkins
As we reported, Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA) led an effort to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to the leaders of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee requesting strong funding for Perkins. A record 170 Representatives from both parties across 40 states and territories signed the letter – a strong show of support for CTE and a reflection of your advocacy efforts! Advance CTE will be sending thank you letters to these members of Congress and we encourage you to do so as well if your Representative signed on to the letter (and you can find their contact information through the U.S. House of Representatives Directory).
Contact Your Senator About Signing the FY19 Perkins Funding Letter
Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), along with two of the co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Kaine (D-VA), will be sending a letter to the Chairman, Senator Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member, Senator Murray (D-WA), of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies encouraging that they consider increasing the federal investment in Perkins to $1.3 billion. Right now, these Senators are asking for their colleagues to join them in signing this letter (their request is formally called a “Dear Colleague” letter). Please consider contacting your Senators to encourage them to sign on to the letter by using the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Action Center or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking your Senators to sign onto the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Perkins appropriations letter.
Secretary DeVos Testifies on U.S. Department of Education FY19 Budget 
On March 20, Secretary DeVos testified on the President’s FY19 Budget Request before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee. After opening statements, Members of the subcommittee used the entire time allotted for the hearing for their questions, which focused on a variety of topics, including school safety, school choice and more. Secretary DeVos discussed CTE briefly in her opening statement and in response to remarks from Representatives who noted their support of CTE, she said, “we would advocate for making the CTE programming through the Perkins program more flexible to reach down even into middle school to help students know and understand, again what pathways they might have beyond high school to consider.”
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy