Senate FY 2021 Appropriations Bill Provides $75 Million Increase for Perkins -- As Congress returned for the lame duck session, one of the most critical items on the agenda before the end of the year is the passage of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills. As one step toward finalizing these bills, on November 10, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee released its long-awaited draft FY 2021 appropriations bill. According to the Committee’s highlights document, the proposal includes $184.47 billion in overall funding, with $73.2 billion of the proposed discretionary spending for the Department of Education, which would be an increase of $433 million or 0.9 percent over FY 2020 enacted levels.
Even with this very modest overall increase, there was some very good news for CTE in the bill! The bill proposes an $75 million, or 5.8 percent increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant over the FY 2020 enacted levels, bringing its total proposed funding level to approximately $1.36 billion. This is $57 million more than the funding level included in the appropriations bill passed by the House in July 2020.
Below are some additional funding levels proposed in the bill for programs that are important to CTE educators:
- CTE National programs: $7.42 million, level funded from FY 20 level
- Federal Work-Study: $1.18 billion, level funded from FY 20 level
- Adult Education: $671 million, level funded from FY 20 level
- DoL Training and Employment Services programs: $3.585 billion, a decrease from $3.611 billion in FY20
- Career Pathways for Youth Grants: $10 million, level funded from FY 20 level
- Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants: $2.132 billion, level funded from FY 20 level
- ESSA Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.25 billion, an increase of $40 million from FY 20 level
- Pell Grants: $6,495 for the maximum award, an increase of $150 from FY 20 level
The bill is not expected to have a markup or be considered individually on the Senate floor, but it will serve as a negotiating position for the Senate with the House. To prevent a government shutdown, Congress needs to pass FY 2021 appropriations bills, or a new continuing resolution (CR), prior to the December 11 expiration of the current CR.
While the Perkins increase in the bill doesn’t come close to meeting the funding needs for CTE, it is a solid step in this process considering restrictive budget caps and urgent needs created by the pandemic.
Encourage your Members of Congress to support the higher Perkins funding level included in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill.