Now that funding for fiscal year 2018 has been finalized, Congress has begun work on FY 2019 Appropriations Bills. We’ve been working with allies in the House and Senate on Dear Colleague letters to Members of Congress on the Appropriations Committees that call for robust funding for international basic education.
The State-Foreign Operations portion of the final FY18 omnibus spending bill slightly reduces the overall international affairs funding to $54 billion compared to the FY17 level of $57.5 billion. FY18 funding for international basic education is protected at $800 million, which is level to the FY17 final enacted level.
On March 19th, the BEC Board met with Julie Cram, the newly appointed Senior Coordinator for Basic Education and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Economic Development, Education and Environment. BEC provided Ms. Cram with policy recommendations on early childhood education, numeracy, literacy, and gender for the next USAID basic education strategy and laid the groundwork for future consultation on the development of the strategy. We’re looking forward to continuing the Coalition’s engagement with USAID staff to ensure that the next strategy incorporates our input and positions USAID to make progress on international education goals.
The Basic Education Coalition (BEC) applauds Congressional leaders for passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. We are especially grateful to Ranking Member Lowey (D-NY), Chairman Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), and SFOPs Subcommittee Chairman Rogers (R-KY) for their work on the Appropriations Committee to provide robust support for international basic education in fiscal year 2018.
BEC is thrilled to announce Kirby Henslee as our new Director of Government Relations. Kirby is a passionate advocate for educational opportunities for children in need. Kirby previously managed the international basic education policy portfolio for Save the Children-US and worked closely with BEC on basic education advocacy.
Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle publicly spoke out against the President's FY19 budget request. Congress is still working to finalize the FY18 budget and we expect to see an omnibus this week. BEC has been advocating to ensure that Basic Education is protected in the final FY18 appropriations bill and we are calling for the omnibus to include the House’s higher funding level for Basic Education of $800,000,000.
House and Senate Appropriations Committees are simultaneously beginning their work on the FY19 budget. As the FY19 budget process picks up steam on the Hill, BEC is submitting the following program funding request to key Congressional offices on the Appropriations Committees: “$925,000,000 for Basic Education, with at least $800,000,000 provided as Development Assistance. USAID is working with trusted partners to mobilize U.S. resources and expertise behind common goals. We respectfully urge Congress to seek funding at the requested level in order to expand effective existing programs as part of USAID’s Education Strategy.”
The President’s FY19 Budget Request proposed a 30% cut to the International Affairs Budget relative to the FY17 enacted level. Last year, the President also suggested deep cuts in the FY18 Budget Request, but Congress rose to the occasion and spoke out in defense of US foreign assistance. For an in depth analysis of the President’s FY19 International Affairs Budget Request, reference USGLC’s “Groundhog Budget.”
Basic Education was once again targeted for drastic cuts in the FY19 Budget Request. The Administration proposed $394,530,000 for Basic Education, which would be a 51% cut from the FY17 enacted level ($800,000,000). BEC will continue to work with partner organizations and allies on the Hill to ensure strong support for Basic Education throughout the FY19 appropriations process.
In other Administration news, President Trump announced on March 13th that he will be placing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State with former Congressman and current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. BEC will work with Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff to submit Questions for the Record on the importance of international basic education for Director Pompeo’s confirmation hearing in April.
BEC signed onto a letter to SFOP members, urging them to use the higher basic education numbers in the House Appropriations bill in the final FY18 spending bills. BEC also signed onto a letter to House and Senate Budget Committee members, urging them to maintain the International Affairs spending levels. Finally, BEC spearheaded a letter, with 17 organizations, to House and Senate Appropriators, urging them to adopt the higher House funding levels for Basic Education.
The current continuing resolution which funds the US government expires on December 8th. It is expected that Congress will pass an additional short-term resolution to continue funding the government through late December and, if an agreement is not found, through January to give appropriators time to finalize their FY18 spending bills.
On Tuesday, October 31st, Ambassador Green testified before the House SFOPS subcommittee. You can find the full hearing here but some noteworthy quotes include:
- “As former foreign policy and defense leaders have often said…in a world as complex are ours, with our national security under threat more than perhaps ever before we need to be able to deploy the entirety of our statecraft toolbox. This must include our most sophisticated development and humanitarian tools. At USAID we embrace this mission.” – Administrator Green
Washington, D.C.- On Tuesday, October 24th, 40 representatives from NGOs, USAID, and the World Bank met to celebrate and discuss the World Bank’s World Development Report 2018 (WDR18): LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise. The WDR is the World Bank’s flagship report, which is prepared annually on a specific topic of global importance. For the first time in almost 40 years of the WDR series, the focus is on education.
HR 2408, the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education Act, passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 3rd. The bill’s lead sponsors are Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Robin Kelly (D-IL). This legislation priorities programs that support access to displaced children, especially girls. Additionally, it requires State and USAID to include data on education programs for displaced children in any report to Congress on disaster relief and recovery efforts. You can find the Republican Policy Committee summary and cost estimate here.
Congress: The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the FY18 budget resolution in the coming week. This is an essential step so that Republicans can address a key legislative priority, overhauling the tax code.
The Administration: The Trump administration continues to focus on the relief effort for areas affected by hurricanes.
- $51.2 billion in topline spending with $30.4 billion in base and $20.8 billion in OCO. This is a 1.7% cut from FY17, excluding the defense supplemental and famine relief.
- Basic education was appropriated $500 million for FY18, with $75 million earmarked for multilateral organizations. This was not unexpected, as the Senate bill is generally less than the House.
- In comparison:
- The House FY18 SFOPS bill allocated $800 million, with $87.5 multilaterals towards multilaterals
- President Trump’s request for basic ed for FY18 was $377.901 million
- The FY17 final numbers for basic education were $800 million, with $75 million towards multilaterals.
- In comparison:
- The report language for basic education, which now includes secondary education, highlights the pipeline (which is now at $2.295 billion) and supports greater emphasis on adolescent girls education.
The House of Representatives will be voting on a 8 bill appropriations Omnibus the week of September 11th.
On September 8th, President Trump signed a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded until December 8th. The CR continues funding the government under FY17 levels with a slight reduction of .6781%. This translates to roughly a $5.4 million reduction in basic education funding.
Ambassador Mark Green was confirmed as USAID’s Administrator on August 3rd by the Senate. Green was supported by prominent Republicans and Democrats in both chambers, as well as the development community...
July 19th, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the State, Foreign Operations FY18 Appropriations bill. You can find the Chairman’s statement here. In total, the bill is $10 billion lower than FY17 enacted levels. Basic education fared well in FY18, maintaining its $800 million appropriation mark...
The Basic Education allocation (Page 240) remains at FY17 levels ($800 million). Funds appropriated for multilateral programs (GPE/ECW) has increased by $12.5 million ($87.5 million).
Ambassador Mark Green’s nomination for USAID Administrator is expected to go through before the July 4th recess.