House Republicans have passed a continuing resolution to fund the government once the current resolution runs out on March 4. Included in the House GOP’s plan, as we’ve pointed out, are a slew of counter-productive and outright destructive spending cuts aimed at community health centers, job training, environmental protection, infrastructure funding, and programs that protect some of the country’s most vulnerable residents.
And as CAP Education Policy Analyst Diana Epstein laid out today, the House Republicans’ plan also cuts education funding in a way that is equivalent to cutting federal support for nearly one million low-income students:
What would these cuts mean in terms of the students and teachers who would be affected? First consider the impact that this bill would have on funding for Title I, which provides supplemental funding to districts and schools to meet the needs of low-income children. Title I would be cut by $694 million, which is equivalent to eliminating the extra academic support Title I provides for 957,000 students. Because Title I money is distributed at the school level, a large proportion of the 20 million children nationwide who receive free or reduced-price lunches — many of whom attend schools that receive Title I support — would be affected by reduced or eliminated programs at their schools.
Title I is distributed via formula to schools with higher percentages of low-income students, and as Theodora Chang noted, slashing it right now “is a brutal mid-year cut to staffed-up districts and would hit high-poverty districts the hardest.” House Republicans also took a whack at special education funding, even though House Education Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) has repeatedly promised to increase funding for special education. In a final blow, the Republican plan would knock 196,000 children out of Head Start
Even the short-term resolution that House Republicans have unveiled — which would fund the government for two weeks, giving Congress more time to work out a longer term deal — includes debilitating cuts to education, including more than $300 million from literacy programs. That bill will be debated on the House floor this week.
These sort of funding cuts are short-sighted and counterproductive, as study after study shows that investments in education — particularly for young children — pay for themselves in the long-run, as better educated workers are more productive, commit fewer crimes, require fewer social safety net payments, earn more money and ultimately pay more in taxes.