NEA hails huge win for students as Congress passes significant increase in education funding

On December 17, 2019 the National Education Association hailed a huge, bipartisan win for students as the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $1.3 billion increase in education funding, while rejecting the Trump/DeVos administration’s proposed cuts and privatization schemes.

“Over the past two years, educators have rallied with parents and students to make their voice heard as part of the #RedforEd movement. Together, they demand that elected officials at every level ensure that our public schools have the resources they need to provide every student the opportunity to succeed,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Today’s bipartisan vote shows that in the House of Representatives, educators have been heard. The funding package approved by the House put students at the center, providing a $1.3 billion increase in education funding, rejecting the Trump/DeVos administration’s efforts to cut funding and privatize our nation’s public schools, and funding research on gun violence for the first time since 1996. Beyond that, the bill repeals the unfair excise tax on educators’ healthcare plans. Now, it is imperative for the Senate and president to do their job and ensure these critical investments in our public schools and students get over the finish line and are signed into law.”

Specifically, the legislation:

  • Boosts Title I grants by $450 million;
  • Increases Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding by $410 million;
  • Provides a 43 percent increase for funding for community schools;
  • Includes historic funding for Head Start;
  • Appropriates the first funding for gun violence research since 1996;
  • Funds the 2020 Census to ensure all people are counted in the constitutionally mandated process;
  • Extends the Secure Rural Schools Act for two years;
  • Raises pay for Department of Defense educators by 3.1 percent; Fully repeals the excise tax on health plans, which would have taken money out of the pockets of educators who have accepted lower wages in return for decent health care coverage and would have been among those hit hardest by the tax;
  • And rejects the Trump/DeVos efforts to cut education funding by $7.4 billion, stops Secretary DeVos’ proposed elimination of Title II, and rejects their calls to expand funding vouchers and other privatization schemes.