Congress Boosts Funding for K-12 Programs

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Over the past several years, the news regarding federal K-12 funding has usually focused on the substantial amounts of relief and stimulus monies Congress appropriated to education programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the annual allocations Congress has approved for K-12 programs authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) have received less attention despite significant increases for most programs.

In late December 2022, the U.S. Congress finalized a fiscal year 2023 budget that increases funding for federal K-12 programs by an average of 5.6% over 2022 levels. More specifically:

  • Title I funding rose 4.8%, from $17.5 billion to $18.4 billion.
  • Title III funding for English language acquisition programs increased 7%, from $831 million to $890 million.
  • Title IV block grant funds for academic enrichment increased by 7.7%, from $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.

The increases in the fiscal year 2023 budget continue a recent trend. For example, over the five-year period of fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year 2023, federal funding for Title I grants to school districts has increased by 20%. Many other K-12 programs have had similar increases since 2019.

These increases are well above historical norms. Over the past three decades or more, annual increases were slow and steady. One to three percent annual increases were typical and, in some years, programs were flat-funded.

The Biden Administration has promised future increases for K-12 programs – especially those that support disadvantaged students. In the next several months, the White House is expected to roll out its budget proposal for 2024. Stay connected to Westchester Education Services for news and updates regarding federal and state education funding.

Join us on Thursday, February 23, at noon Eastern, when Jay Diskey of Diskey Public Affairs and Kevin Gray, Westchester’s President and Chief Content Officer, will present the 2023 Federal and State Education Funding Update webinar, covering recent federal and state funding trends for K-12 education.


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