On Thursday, the House voted to approve a fiscal year 2013 budget resolution drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). The resolution is a long way from a final budget, and includes no agency or programmatic funding plans, but it kicks off the 2013 budget debate, at least on the House side.
Ryan included only a few general and vaguely-defined policy proposals important to education stakeholders, trimming federal education programs to limit spending. The report refers to 82 programs funded by the federal government (outlined in this 2011 Government Accountability Office report) that all seek to improve teacher quality, and suggests consolidating and revising them to improve efficiency. (For a complete list of education proposals in the report, read this post from our sister blog, Ed Money Watch.)
The House report also suggests eliminating federal education programs not proven effective in increasing student achievement, although it does not supply examples of such programs. Ryan would terminate the Social Services Block Grant administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and funded with $1.79 billion in fiscal year 2012, a portion of which may be used by states to fund childcare services. The Budget Committee report, released earlier this week, sets broad revenue, spending, debt and deficit targets to guide House lawmakers as they start the appropriations process. Keep in mind, though, that the Democratically-controlled Senate is unlikely to adopt the House Republicans’ plan. The Senate plans to draft a budget resolution within the limits of the debt ceiling agreement reached last summer, while the House budget resolution sets even stricter discretionary spending targets – although the House plan does not specify how the targets would be reached.
Democrats on the House Budget Committee introduced a series of amendments before the committee vote, one of which would have increased funding for Head Start by $117 million in fiscal year 2013 and in decreasing amounts for four years thereafter. The amendment failed in a party line vote and was not included in the final version of the resolution.
Early Ed Watch will have continuing coverage on the fiscal year 2013 appropriations process.