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Letter to Congress on FY16 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

December 10, 2015

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA) and the students they serve, we urge you to swiftly complete work on a FY16 omnibus appropriations bill that includes Labor-HHS-Education. 

The recent passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was an important step in providing relief to sequester level cuts and created the space necessary for investments to be made in programs that will grow our economy and our future. Today, the President signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which finally puts an end to the flawed policies of No Child Left Behind and ushers in the beginning of a new era in public education.  Passing ESSA is only the beginning. To realize the full potential of ESSA, Congress must start down the path of providing adequate resources through an FY16 Labor-HHS-Education appropriation, as part of an omnibus bill, which invests in education to help close opportunity and resource gaps and ensure all students have access to a high-quality education.

Including an ample Labor-HHS-Education measure in an FY16 omnibus appropriations bill would allow Congress to prioritize critical formula grant programs like Title I and IDEA that are so essential to creating opportunity and providing the targeted resources  needed to help students in poverty, children with disabilities, and those most in need of extra assistance. Funding Labor-HHS-Education without substantial increases or through a long-term CR would stop the progress just made in crafting and overwhelmingly passing ESSA.

We urge Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to pass an FY 16 omnibus bill that includes Labor-HHS-Education and prioritizes formula-funded education grant programs that help our students most in need, regardless of their zip code. We thank you for considering our views and we look forward to continuing to work with you to provide needed investments in students and education.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler

Director of Government Relations