U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
On behalf of our 3 million members and the 50 million students they serve, we strongly urge you to VOTE NO on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 5894). Votes on this issue will be included in NEA’s Report Card for the 118th Congress.
Simply put, H.R. 5894 is the most extreme education funding bill ever to reach the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Never voted on by the full Appropriations Committee, it includes historic cuts in the level of education funding—particularly in Title I—and cruelly targets programs and support for the students most in need.
Overall, education funding would decline by 28 percent. The deepest cuts are in key elements of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), first enacted in 1965 to give all students equal access to educational opportunity. Specifically, the bill would:
- Slash Title I funding for high-poverty schools by 80 percent
- End Title II grants used to recruit and retain educators when the educator shortage is at crisis levels, especially in certain subjects and geographical areas
- Deprive more than 50,000 children of access to Head Start
- Eliminate funding for English-language learner programs for more than 5 million students
- Put higher education further out of reach for low-income students while blocking meaningful reform of federal student debt relief programs
- Wipe out 224,000 teacher jobs, leading to larger class sizes and less individual attention—the opposite of what today’s students need
The provisions of this unserious bill make a mockery of America’s promise of equal educational opportunity for all. Education funding remains inadequate, having declined by $13 billion (after adjusting for inflation) due to the deep cuts and funding caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Contemplating further cuts is unconscionable, especially in programs and support for the students most in need.
For all these reasons, we strongly urge you to VOTE NO on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 5894) if it receives a vote on the floor.
Director of Government Relations
National Education Association