Hot off the press: Congressman Rehberg, the chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds early learning programs, released his FY13 bill on Tuesday, July 17, in advance of the subcommittee meeting Wednesday morning.
The good news: early learning was on a short list of priorities that received small increases above last year. The not so good news: the increases for early learning are modest, and will not cover the impact of inflation on core funding levels. Across all programs funded by the bill, the legislation provides $8.8 billion less than the President’s budget request, and cuts almost $7 billion from last year’s levels.
But given the constraints developed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and passed by the House, Chairman Rehberg managed to protect early learning. Highlights include:
• A $45 million increase for Head Start, to be used to help cushion the impact of inflation and preserve core services and quality;
• A $25 million increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
In order to help reach his budget targets, Chairman Rehberg proposes eliminating $400 million of the funding provided to Race to the Top in last year's bill, none of which has yet been awarded to states or local education agencies. The First Five Years Fund understands that the Chairman intends to protect the $133 million designated by the Secretary of Education for Early Learning Challenge round two grants.
Keep in mind that all of the above—including the Race to the Top issue—is still be subject to change, especially as the bill moves forward later in the year, and towards an (unofficial) conference with the Senate.
We’ll keep you updated as additional details emerge. Stay tuned to The Starting Point blog and our Facebook and Twitter posts for updates and analysis.