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Late Wednesday night, the White House abruptly released a statement to Senators encouraging the elimination of 28 education programs, totaling around $6 billion, calling them “unnecessary,” “duplicative, narrowly-focused” and “unable to demonstrate effectiveness.” Although the education programs cited were not named in the 7-page statement, they were also not included in the President’s FY19 Budget proposal to Congress earlier this year.

The Joint National Committee for Languages has concluded that the programs cited include Title II, Title III, Title IV Part A and Title VI of ESSA, as well as Title II and Title VI of the HEA.

Unnecessary Department of Education Programs. The Administration is concerned that the bill funds 28 programs that the Administration has proposed for elimination in the FY 2019 Budget 6 request. Eliminating these programs, which are duplicative, narrowly-focused, or unable to demonstrate effectiveness, would save nearly $6 billion in FY 2019.  Statement of Administration Policy, August 15, 2018

The White House released the statement as the Senate begins floor debate to the next massive appropriations spending bundle, which wraps up its fiscal 2019 Defense bill, S. 3159, with its Labor-HHS-Education bill, S. 3158. A similar statement was sent to the Senate in July from the Office of Management and Budget asking for the elimination of programs. The numbers below (see bottom) come from the President’s original FY2019 budget request for the Department of Education, which has been roundly rejected by the Senate’s Labor/HHS/ED appropriations bill, lowing the its chance to be passed on the floor.

Next week, things will really heat up as Senators are expected to offer a number of amendments to the two funding bills on hot-button political issues like the Obamacare, gun violence research, President Trump’s border wall and immigration. While so-called “poison-pill” amendments could potentially sink the bills, Senate Appropriations Chairman, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Ranking Member, Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), assured reporters that they “want to limit political distractions.” The House is on recess until Labor Day, when they will return to a fast-approaching September 30 spending cutoff. While unlikely, if no agreement is met by the deadline, a government shutdown would occur. 

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Take Action — Do Your Part  

First, write down your Senators phone number and email by visiting Senate.gov. Let’s take Senator Amy Kloubuchar (D-MN) as an example.

Sen. Amy Kloubuchar (D-MN)
Phone: (202) 224-3244
Email: https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-amy (99% of the time, you will be directed to an online submission form).

Use the following script to CALL and EMAIL your Senators: 

Hello, my name is ___________ and I’m calling because I am concerned with a recent statement from the White House that calls for the elimination of several education programs that are vital to world language education and international studies in the US.

I would like to urge the Senator to support the full funding of Title II, Title III, Title IV Part A and Title VI of ESSA, as well as Title II and Title VI of the HEA.

I would also urge the Senator to oppose any amendments that would defund or eliminate these programs in the upcoming Defense and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations debate. Thank you.

(During the call remember to give your zip code to the staffer in order to verify your residency).

The President’s Original (and Rejected) FY2019 Budget Request

21st Century Community Learning Centers $1,191.70
Alaska Native Education 32.5
American History and Civics Education 3.5
Arts in Education 27
Comprehensive Centers 50
Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants 190
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants 733.1
Full-Service Community Schools 10
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs 339.8
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) 28
Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property 68.8
Innovative Approaches to Literacy 27
International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic Programs 65.1
International Education and Foreign Language Studies Overseas Programs 7.1
Javits Gifted and Talented Education 12
Native Hawaiian Education 33.4
Promise Neighborhoods 73.3
Ready to Learn Programming 25.7
Regional Educational Laboratories 54.4
School Leader Recruitment and Support 14.5
Special Olympics Education Programs 12.6
Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems 32.3
Strengthening Institutions 86.5
Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants 400
Supported Employment State Grants 27.5
Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) 65
Supporting Effective Instruction States Grants 2,055.80
Teacher Quality Partnerships 43.1
Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants 200
Total (in millions) 5,909.70

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