We had planned to take today off for Washington Update, but alas there is some good breaking news that we wanted to share! While the educator pipeline funds have been significantly pared down in the just-released draft of the reconciliation bill, $610 million remains! While not the billions we had hoped for, the funds would really make a difference. Bear in mind that this bill is a draft, and there is a long way to go — -the House and Senate must both actually pass the bill. Hopefully that will unfold in the next few weeks. We will be vigilant to ensure that the $610 million remains in the final legislation.
House Rules Committee Releases Draft of Reconciliation Bill that Includes Educator Workforce Funds
On Thursday morning, just hours before President Biden headed overseas for the Group of 20 Summit in Rome , the White House announced the rough outlines of a framework for the Build Back Better agenda. The Build Back Better agenda, otherwise referred to as the reconciliation package, was initially set to include many of the priorities the Biden-Harris Administration set forth in their “social infrastructure” package, the American Families Plan. For a brief recap: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had initially promised Democrats that she would hold a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan “traditional” infrastructure bill by September 27th. She also pledged to approve the partisan reconciliation bill – a then $3.5 trillion proposal (Build Back Better Agenda) for social programs (including education) — in conjunction with the bi-partisan infrastructure bill. But moderates balked at that plan and threatened to vote against the budget resolution needed to kick-start the reconciliation process if she didn’t de-link the two bills.
For the past month Congressional and White House leadership have been meeting, often into the late hours of the night, to iron out key details of the plan to ensure all 50 Democratic Senators would be on board—most specifically Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Sinema (D-AZ). The two moderates have been at odds with leadership over the topline number of an otherwise supported proposal among Democrats. The new framework cuts the number down from $3.5 trillion to just over $1.75 trillion. The original House reconciliation bill included $194 billion for education funding, the revised framework released on Thursday pares that number down to just $21 billion, with the biggest cuts for education coming from school construction, free community college, college retention and completion grants, career and technical education, and adult education and literacy.
While some proposals were left behind, many of the President’s education priorities will see a boost—including key educator workforce initiatives such as IDEA-D-Personal Preparation, Grow Your Own programs, Teacher Residencies, and the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence.
Key Education Workforce Programs with Increases in the Draft Reconciliation Bill :
|Program||Funding in Millions|
|Grow Your Own||$112.68|
Advocates will now channel their energy on ensuring that the $610 million investment in the educator workforce remains in the final bill. While the current deadline for a vote on the package is October 31st, it seems unlikely that that will happen. But there is progress!
Have a great weekend!
Jane and Kait