A proposal from the Senate Appropriations Committee was released last Thursday that has the potential to bring in a substantial amount of money for K-12 programs. But Senate Republicans have objections, saying they are simply “filled with poison pills.”
The bill includes $20.1 billion for Title I grants and $15.3 billion for special education grants and would allow for an increase of nearly $5.5 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, totaling $49 billion, a 13% increase over FY2022.
Despite its benefits, Republicans were quick to voice their resistance.
“Like last year, Senate Democrats have unveiled partisan appropriations bills that spend billions more than even the Administration’s wasteful request,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, in a statement. “These drafts fail to appropriately allocate resources to our national defense, remove important legacy riders that enjoyed broad, bipartisan support just four months ago, and are filled with poison pills.”
In contrast, supporters of the bill argue that it would help tackle pandemic-related recovery efforts.
“These bills are an investment in the American people that promote affordable housing, help families put food on the table, support the education and care of our children and young people, combat climate change, improve healthcare access, and invest in our communities,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, in a statement.
In addition to Title I grants and special education funding, the bill would provide $12 billion for Head Start, which provides programs to promote school readiness for infants, toddlers and preschoolers from low-income families. Other education-related items in the bill include proposals for family engagement, access to childcare and early childhood education, and early intervention services for young children with developmental delays.
For the bill to be passed, it would have to reach an agreement from those in Congress before Oct. 1, which marks the first day of the 2023 fiscal year.