Legislative Update: New Funding Bill Passed and ED Offers Technical Assistance


Legislative Update: New Funding Bill Passed and ED Offers Technical Assistance

This week, Congress passed a temporary funding bill and avoided a government shutdown. Read below to learn more about this bill, as well as a new opportunity for technical assistance and a revised COVID-19 stimulus package. 
Congress Passes Funding Bill 
Early Thursday morning the president signed a stopgap funding bill, avoiding a government shutdown since federal funding expired on September 30, 2020. The Senate passed this continuing resolution (CR) on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote of 84-10, following the House vote on the CR last week. This bill extends federal funding at the currently enacted levels through December 11, 2020. At that time Congress will either pass new Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) appropriations bills, or continue with another CR. The bill (H.R. 8337) extends funding for all 12 appropriations bills, including Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed). All education programs will continue at the currently enacted funding levels through the duration of the CR. 
ED Announces 2020 Catalyzing Career and Technical Education Competition
Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) announced the launch of the 2020 Catalyzing Career and Technical Education Competition. Through funding from OCTAE, Social Finance and JFF, recipients will be provided with technical assistance to scale high-quality, Perkins-eligible Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. Perkins-eligible CTE providers are able to apply for this, and up to two sites will be chosen to receive technical assistance valued at about $150,000-$225,000. There will be a webinar on October 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET, during which additional information will be provided and those interested can ask questions. Applications are due by December 4, 2020, and those interested are strongly encouraged (but not required) to notify Social Finance of their intent to apply by October 16, 2020. You can learn more about the competition here and the Request for Proposals can be found here.  
House Democrats Introduce Revised COVID-19 Relief Bill
Written by Michael Matthews, Government Relations Manager, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Full post can be found here.
On Monday, House Democrats introduced a new $2.2 trillion pandemic relief package as part of a last-minute attempt to find a bipartisan solution prior to both chambers leaving town until after the November 3 elections. The proposal largely mirrors the HEROES Act, the $3.4 trillion package passed by the House in May, including an extension of the $600 expanded unemployment insurance, an additional round of $1,200 tax rebate checks, and more money for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), among other provisions.

There is good news for education in the bill, as the new bill more than doubles the education request to $225 billion, including over $200 billion for an education stabilization fund and some additional targeted resources. See below for a specific breakdown of education funding.
ED’s Education Stabilization Fund – $208.1 Billion:
Funding is allocated to states based on a combination of the number of school-aged children and the number of Title 1-eligible children. Funding is not dependent upon schools reopening and can be used for the types of services and supplies that were allowed under the CARES Act. Funding is divided as follows:

  • $175 billion for elementary and secondary education
  • $27 billion for public postsecondary education, with 75% based on the number of Pell Grant-eligible students; funds can be used for an institution’s needs and for grants to students
  • $4 billion for governors to use on education, including restoring state and local education support
  • $2 billion for Bureau of Indian Education, tribal colleges and outlying areas
  • Maintenance of effort – states must maintain the percent of their budgets spent on education in fiscal year (FY) 2019 for FYs 2020 through 2022, with further specific assurances for K-12 funding and higher education.

Higher Education $11.9 Billion:
This section has funding for private institutions of higher education, and the allowable uses reflect those for public institutions in the Education Stabilization Fund. It includes:

  • $3.5 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and for Minority-Serving Institutions
  • $7 billion for private, non-profit institutions of higher education (page 168)
  • $1.4 billion for institutions with unmet need related to coronavirus
  • $20 million for Howard University
  • $11 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf
  • $11 million for Gallaudet University

The bill also includes $12 billion to close the homework gap and $3 billion for emergency home connectivity – The $12 billion is for schools and libraries to fund Wi-fi hotspots and devices.
The House passed a revised version of this bill on Thursday night. 
Meredith Hills, Policy Associate