Sending Office: Honorable Marcia L. Fudge
Sent By:
Sarah.Nasta@mail.house.gov

Support Title I Funding in the FY19 Appropriations

Deadline to sign on: COB Thursday, March 15

Dear Colleague:

 

Please join us in requesting an appropriation for Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of $31 billion, an amount truly reflective of program need, but no less than $17 billion.  Such an appropriation would be adequate in fulfilling
the bipartisan agreement embodied in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), account for the recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) and ensure that school districts do not continue to experience cuts to their Title I-A allocations.

 

With more than 50 percent of students enrolled in our nation’s public schools coming from low-income families, increased financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools serving high numbers or high percentages of low-income children provided
by Title I-A is especially critical.  Title I-A supports schools to ensure that all students, including those at risk of not meeting challenging, state academic standards, fulfill their academic potential and graduate from high school ready for college and
to start careers.  To ensure that States do not see a total decrease in critical funds for school improvement and local educational agencies do not see a decrease in Title I-A allocations due to increased state reservation, Congress purposefully increased
the Title I-A authorization level to cover appropriations for both funding streams.

 

Since, under the FY17 Continuing Resolution, Title I-A program funding has seen no increase to align with the new requirements or Congressional intent under ESSA, states must meet the increased reservation requirement without the funding necessary to prevent
deep cuts to local programs and services for our most disadvantaged students.  Implementation of the law to align with the statutorily-mandated timeline is moving forward, and Congress must ensure States and school districts aren’t faced with significant cuts
to Title I-A which would hinder such implementation and harm our most disadvantage students.

 

Please join us in urging an FY19 Title I-A appropriation of $31 billion, but no less than $17 billion.  Doing so will fulfill the bipartisan commitment to increase Title I funding by agreed-upon percentages each year, by more than $1 billion during the life
of the program authorization under ESSA and most importantly, will ensure that critical funds continue to support effective programs and improve low-performing schools.

 

If you have questions or would like to sign on to the letter below, please contact Sarah Nasta at sarah.nasta@mail.house.gov or 5-7032.

 

March 19, 2018

 

The Honorable Tom Cole                                         The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro

Chairman                                                                   Ranking Member

Labor, Health and Human Services,                          Labor, Health and Human Services,

Education, and Related Agencies                              Education, and Related Agencies

2358-B Rayburn House Office Building                   2358-B Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515                                           Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

 

As you craft the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, we urge an appropriation for Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of $31 billion, an amount truly
reflective of program need, but no less than $17 billion, an amount $1.6 billion above the enacted FY17 level.  Such an appropriation would be sufficient to fulfill the bipartisan agreement embodied in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), account for the
recently-enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892), and ensure school districts do not continue to experience cuts to their Title I-A allocations.

 

With more than 50 percent of students enrolled in our nation’s public schools coming from low-income families, increased financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools serving high numbers or high percentages of low-income children is especially
critical.  Title I-A supports schools to ensure that all children, including children at risk of not meeting challenging state academic standards, fulfill their academic potential and graduate from high school ready for college and/or career.

 

Enactment and implementation of ESSA, the bipartisan, comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA, brings significant updates to Title I-A which will impact how program funds reach high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools.  We implore your careful
consideration of ESSA’s statutory revisions to Title I-A to inform the program’s FY19 appropriation level.  Notably, ESSA combined the previously-appropriated School Improvement Grant (SIG) program funding into the larger Title I-A funding stream, resulting
in a new requirement that states reserve seven percent (formerly four percent) of their Title I-A allocation to support school improvement.  To ensure that States did not see a total decrease in critical school improvement funds, and LEA Title I-A allocations
were not cut due to the increased state reservation, Congress purposefully increased the Title I-A authorization levels to cover FY15 appropriations levels for both Title I-A and SIG and included an agreed-upon year-after-year percentage increase for Title
I-A.  Unfortunately, the enacted FY17 funding level for Title I-A failed to embody the bipartisan ESSA agreement, resulting in an effective cut to many LEA Title I-A allocations and jeopardizing educational opportunities for millions of students.  To add insult
to injury, the annualized FY18 program funding level is on track to repeat the failure of FY17.

 

Title I-A is the cornerstone of federal investment in K-12 education.  Administrators, school leaders, and teachers depend on Title I-A dollars to provide vital academic and wrap-around support services for low-income students.  We urge appropriators to
recognize the important role Title I-A plays in school districts across the country, prioritize investment in our nation’s K-12 students, and honor the bipartisan agreement of ESSA by appropriating at least $17 billion for Title I-A in FY19.

 

Sincerely,

 

_______________________                          _______________________

Marcia L. Fudge                                             Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Member of Congress                                      Ranking Member

                                                                      Committee of Education and the Workforce

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Education

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