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Omnibus Boosts Funding for U.S. Education Department by $3.9 Billion, Plus Extras

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President Donald Trump campaigned on getting the federal government out of education, but Republicans in Congress have increased the department’s funding by at least $3.9 billion in the omnibus spending bill.

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) – the largest coalition of education associations and teachers’ unions, whose sole purpose is to increase the role of the federal education department with investments of greater taxpayer funds – is thrilled with the Republican-led $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page spending bill.

“After almost a decade of virtually stagnant federal funding for education, CEF is pleased that Congress has produced a FY 2018 appropriations package that provides real increases for education,” tweeted CEF executive director Sheryl Cohen. “”The bill increases funding for the Dept. of Education by $3.9 billion, in addition to increases for other education-related programs”:

“The bill demonstrates the importance of federal investments in education across the continuum,” she continued. “This bill is the first time in many years that Congress is addressing the need to support education”:

Politico notes the bill increases spending for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants by $700 million to $1.1 billion. The grants would be used for mental health services, technology, and STEM education. Title I funding for students from low-income families and for special education services would be increased, as would after-school programs and teacher professional development programs.

The omnibus would also give historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) a $35 million increase. Other big winners in the spending bill include the Head Start program and rural schools.

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