Federal Policy and Legislation

Federal Funding

The annual budgeting and funding process for the federal government begins with the president sending his budget request for the next fiscal year to Congress. Next, Congress crafts its own budget resolution and begins the appropriations process to determine funding levels for federal programs.

In Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), cuts in discretionary spending as established through the Budget Control Act of 2011 (for a detailed report on the Budget Control Act of 2011, click here) will continue to cut funding for key programs, including those supporting education.

In May 2017, President Trump released his full budget request for FY18. The budget features five priority areas for education, including creating new education options through school choice, maintaining support for the nation’s most vulnerable students, simplifying funding for postsecondary education, building evidence around educational innovation, and streamlining existing programs. This request calls for deep cuts to education and other federal agencies, eliminating ESEA Title II-A funds and a total of 22 education programs, including the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant program. For an overview of the president’s budget request, review this blog.

In Congress, there has been bipartisan criticism to the proposed cuts, and many members of Congress support programs slated for elimination in the proposal. In September, the U.S. House of Representatives completed its appropriations process by passing an omnibus of eight bills including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) bill. This measure eliminates funds for the TQP grant program, Title II-A of ESEA, and the School Leadership Recruitment and Support grant program, as well as making a cut to the Supporting Effective Educators grant program – all funding that supports educators from cradle through career.

The U.S. Senate did not complete its appropriations process by September 30, 2017. However, the Labor-H bill did move through both the subcommittee and full committee – and in a bipartisan manner. A key difference between the House and Senate is the funding levels to which each bill was marked up: the Senate used a higher number than the House. (To learn more, review the AACTE September 2017 Federal Update webinar). The Senate therefore had very different results:

  • Teacher Quality Partnership Grants: $38.1 million ($5 million cut)
  • ESSA Title II-A State Grants: $2.056 billion (flat funded)
  • School Leader Recruitment and Retention program: eliminated
  • Special Education Personnel Preparation grants: $83.7 million (flat funded)
  • Institute of Education Sciences: $600 million ($5 million cut)

In both the House and the Senate, members of Congress expressed the need to raise the budget caps set in law by the Budget Control Act of 2011 to ensure that education programs, as well as other programs that serve the nation’s vulnerable populations, receive sufficient funding. If Congress exceeds the funding caps, a new round of cuts would be executed. However, no deal has been reached to raise the budget caps.

To keep the government funded, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) through December 8, 2017. It is expected that Congress will pass another CR through December 22, December 31, or possibly February 1, 2018. For more information, review the AACTE November 2017 Federal Update webinar.

AACTE and its members actively engage with Congress to raise awareness of the impact of key federal programs to the profession and to secure funding for these critical programs. Currently, AACTE has an active Action Alert that allows advocates to encourage their members of Congress to support a budget deal for Fiscal Year 2018 that would raise the budget spending caps. To engage and take action, please review the alert.

AACTE is a member of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition that advocates for education funding and includes a wide range of early education, PK-12, and higher education associations.

The chart below lists the president's budget request amounts, alongside recent appropriations, for some of the programs supported by AACTE.


FY 12

FY 13

FY 14

FY 15

FY 16

FY 17

FY 18 Request

Teacher Quality Partnership Grants (million)








Title II of ESEA (billion)








School Leadership (million)








IDEA Personnel Prep (million)








Institute of Education Sciences (million)








Transition to Teaching (million)
This program was eliminated in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.









Last Updated December 2017