The House Committee on Appropriations, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a hearing on “Department of Education Budget Request for FY 2020” in which Education Secretary DeVos testified on behalf of the Department’s budget request.
Among the issues that received bipartisan support were funding for CTE and the expansion of Pell grants for short-term programs. Democrats emphasized the importance of guardrails with short term Pell and DeVos supported working with Congress for this expansion of Pell.
Public charter schools were a hot button issue throughout the hearing, with Republicans supporting charter schools as a mechanism to find the best type of education for students, while Democrats were concerned about a recent report showing up to $1 billion in misuse of charter school funding and they also reiterated their belief that charter schools are largely a means to privatize education. Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) stated their focus is on the 90% of students who are in public schools, not charters.
There was bipartisan support to continue funding TRIO and GEAR UP, rejecting the Department’s proposal to eliminate these programs. Democrats continued to raise concerns about the lack of transparency and oversight of loan servicers along with concerns about potential equity issues for low-income individuals if the Department implemented an institutional risk-sharing program.
DeLauro emphasized in her closing statement, “I look forward to working with my colleague across the aisle to reject the cuts…and we won’t be reviewing what has been proposed.”
Read ASAHP’s full memo here.