Governors Praise Senate for Protecting Education, Workforce Funding

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) Education and Workforce Committee, led by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, released a statement on Congress’ consideration of FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending legislation:

“In May, governors called on Congress to preserve funding levels for critical education and workforce programs, including those under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Today, despite a difficult fiscal reality, Senate appropriators found a way to protect and increase funding that states depend on to build a foundation for students, families and communities to live a successful life and to ensure strong state economies.

We commend Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and the entire Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee for preserving:

  • ESSA Title I funding with an increase;
  • ESSA Title II funding;
  • ESSA Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants with an increase;
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding;
  • Perkins Career and Technical Education state grants:
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act state grants;
  • Apprenticeship grants for states;
  • WIOA state grants; and
  • Preschool Development grants.

As the House considers FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending, governors urge Congressional members to find a way to restore proposed cuts to critical teacher training and professional development programs funded by ESSA Title II. We also call on the House to restore proposed cuts to WIOA Dislocated Worker, Youth and Adult job training programs, to the WIOA Wagner-Peyser Employment Service program and to Apprenticeship grants for states.

The reason is simple: States are unable to bridge the shortfall created by proposed cuts to these programs. In recent months, 23 states have enacted midyear budget cuts, totaling $4.9 billion.

States need teachers equipped to prepare our students for the next generation of jobs. States also need a skilled workforce to ensure critical jobs can be filled and our economy can continue to grow.

Ultimately, governors’ pursuit of both goals will be harmed by proposed cuts to education and workforce programs.

We encourage the House to follow the Senate’s lead and make these programs whole.”