Federal Budget Committee Files Budget

From Ron Painter, President of NAWB:

The Republicans on the Budget Committee, Chaired by Rep Price of GA, filed their budget overview today. Lots of analysis yet to go, but a couple points on a VERY quick read thus far.
A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America
House Budget Committee | March 2015

In the past, lawmakers have dealt with the problem with short-term funding patches. Our budget rejects these temporary measures and makes the Pell Grant program permanently sustainable so that it is able to serve students today and in the future.

  • This starts by targeting Pell Grants to students who need the most assistance. In recent years, students from higher income households have become eligible for Pell. In fact, the Department of Education attributed 14 percent of growth in the program between 2008 and 2011 to expansions that were made to the needs-analysis formula. Increasing eligibility to those with higher incomes drains resources from those who need the most help.
  • Our budget adopts a sustainable Pell Grant maximum-award level. The Department of Education attributed 25 percent of recent program growth to the $619 increase in the maximum award done under the Obama Administration’s stimulus bill that took effect in the 2009-2010 academic year. To get program costs back to a sustainable level, this budget freezes the maximum award for the 2015-2016 award year throughout the budget window.
  • Rather than foster a system that enables skyrocketing tuition and presents too many students with the difficult choice between crippling debt or stopping short of their highest educational attainment, this resolution envisions a framework that uses federal dollars more efficiently, accounts for student loans in a way that reflects their true cost, and invests in a sustainable higher education system that is good for students, institutions of higher education, and taxpayers.
  • Our budget places a strong emphasis on returning the power to make education policy decisions to state and local governments, to families, and to students, rather than allowing choices to be made by bureaucrats in Washington. It eliminates unsuccessful and duplicative K-12 programs in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness. It promotes innovation and choices that provide for flexibility and innovative teaching methods.

Job-Training

  • Last Congress, the House Education and the Workforce Committee made laudable progress toward consolidating federal job-training programs with enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Our budget builds on these efforts by calling for further consolidation of duplicative federal job-training programs and improved coordination of these programs with the recently reformed workforce development system. It also improves accountability by tracking the types of training provided, the costs per trainee, employment after training, and whether the trainee secures a job in his or her preferred field.
  • Federal job-training programs are duplicative, difficult to access and have little accountability. In January 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified 44 of the 47 Federal employment and training programs that overlapped with at least one other program, providing redundant services to similar populations. In total, these numerous employment and training programs spent $18 billion in fiscal year 2009, including stimulus dollars.
  • Our budget will not only achieve savings from consolidation but also produce better results for the millions of Americans looking to improve their skills in their search for a job.
  • The budget calls for increased spending for the Dept. of Defense and balances the budget by cutting domestic programs by ~14%.  Lots yet to read and a long way to go in the process. This is the “top” line of the budget and we will need to see more details – obviously – to know where the numbers fall out. But, I think the reference to the fact that the WIOA was just passed and the intent is to build on the work in crafting WIOA, to me, is a good sign.