Congress in Holding Pattern on Major Bills Impacting Education
Over the holidays, Congress came to an impasse on President Biden’s primary domestic policy agenda, known as the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). The measure, which passed in the House of Representatives this fall, stalled in the Senate when Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), critical to passage of the plan, voiced his opposition to the current iteration.
CEC has been meeting with Congressional offices and the White House for months to advance key provisions within BBBA that relate to diversifying and bolstering the educator pipeline, including targeted funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)’s personnel preparation program. The legislation has been put aside for now, and the outcome of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Manchin and the White House will determine whether and how it will move forward.
Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations also remains in flux, more than a quarter of the way through the fiscal year, with a potential 41 percent increase to the Department of Education hanging in the balance. Appropriators are currently working to come to an agreement about how to move forward so they can finalize spending levels before a short-term extension expires on February 18.
Much like the BBBA, it remains unclear how Congress will ultimately resolve the appropriations impasse.