After months of legislative haggling and delays, the U.S. Congress passed an FY22 omnibus funding bill (omnibus) last month. FY22 fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2021, but until now, Congress had been unable to reach an agreement on new funding levels. As a result, federal programs, including K-12 programs at the U.S. Department of Education (USED), had been operating at FY21 funding levels. The current funding went into effect immediately.
The FY22 omnibus provides $76.4 billion for the USED—an increase of $2.9 billion above current funding levels. Of the funding allotment for USED, K-12 education comprises $42.6 billion, which represents a $2 billion increase over FY21 levels. The new funding for these core K-12 federal programs will now be in effect until Sept. 30, 2022 (see details below on funding levels).
Though K-12 programs received funding increases, the omnibus falls short of the funding levels approved in previous versions of the legislation, which included a doubling of Title I funding and a 20-percent increase to IDEA. In addition, school meal waivers that had been in effect since the pandemic began were not extended and will now sunset in June 2022. Still, the strong funding levels in the FY22 omnibus, coupled with the federal COVID-19 relief funding schools are already receiving, means principals will be well-positioned to confront this recovery period head on.
The passage of the FY22 omnibus legislation followed the NAESP 2022 National Leaders Conference where school leaders advocated on Capitol Hill for increases in K-12 funding in the FY22 bill. Below are details of funding for K-12 programs included in the bill:
- Title I — $17.5 billion, an increase of $1 billion over FY21. This is the largest increase in the program in more than a decade
- IDEA Grants to States — $13.3 billion, an increase of $406 million over FY21 levels
- Title II, Part A — $2.2 billion, an increase of $27 million over FY21 levels
- Mental Health Professionals — $111 million for mental health professionals in schools, includes:
$55 million for Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration Grants, a $45 million increase over FY21 levels
$56 million for School-Based Mental Health Services Grants, a $45 million increase over FY21 levels
- Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Enrichment) — $1.3 billion, an increase of $60 million over FY21 levels
- Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers) — $1.3 billion, an increase of $30 million over FY21 levels
- SEL Programs — $82 million, an increase of $15 million over FY21 levels
- Community Schools — $75 million, an increase of $45 million over FY21 levels
With the release of the FY23 budget, NAESP will be engaging with congressional leaders to ensure robust investments in federal K-12 programs continue.