Senate Releases Labor, HHS, Education Bill for FY 2019

Last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee released their Labor-HHS-Education bill for Fiscal Year 2019. In total, the bill would provide $179.3 billion in discretionary spending, which includes $71.4 billion for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and its associated programs. This is a $541 million increase from what ED received in FY 2018.  On Thursday, June 28, the bill went through an uncontentious markup by the full Committee where the Senators voted 30-1 in favor the bill, successfully clearing it for the Senate floor for further debate and vote.

Photo: iStockImages / drnadi

Education Provisions of Note

Below is a table consisting of several education programs of note to music education and their proposed funding levels. Included are the enacted funding from FY 2018’s omnibus and the House’s proposal for FY 2019.

Federal Education Programs

FY18 Omnibus

House FY19

Senate FY19

Department of Education – Total

$70.86 Billion

$70.91 Billion

$71.4 Billion

Title I Grants to LEAs (School Districts)

$15.46 Billion

$15.76 Billion

$15.89 Billion

Supporting Effective Instruction (Title II, Part A)

$2.06 Billion

$2.06 Billion

$2.06 Billion

Title IV, Part A (SSAE)

$1.1 Billion

$1.2 Billion

$1.23 Billion

Arts in Education

$29 Million

$29 Million

$29 Million

Source: The Committee for Education Funding (CEF), House & Senate Committee on Appropriations

Once again, NAfME is pleased to see the continued support for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant, otherwise known as the Title IV-A block grant of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Following the House’s appropriations recommendations earlier in June, the Senate has recommended an even higher increase for SSAE, proposing to fund it at $1.23 billion.

For those unfamiliar with this block grant, SSAE is one of the new opportunities created within ESSA that provides states and school districts with supplemental funding to support three broad areas:

  1. Providing students access to a well-rounded education (e.g. music and arts),
  2. Supporting safe and healthy students (e.g. comprehensive school mental health, drug and violence prevention, training on trauma-informed practices, health and physical education) and
  3. Supporting the effective use of technology (professional development, blended learning,

NAfME is currently collecting stories regarding how of Title IV-A supporting music education. If you have received Title IV-A funding previously or will receive funding for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, please visit to tell us your Title IV story!

Report Language

It is worth noting that unlike the House, the Senate did not include Committee Report language addressing the Title IV-A block grant. When the House approved their bill out of Committee, the following report language was included:

Student Support and Academic Enrichment State Grants

The Committee recommends $1,200,000,000 for Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) State Grants, which is $100,000,000 above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $1,200,000,000 above the fiscal year 2019 budget request. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) eliminated several narrowly- focused competitive grant programs and replaced them with this new formula grant program. States and school districts have flexibility to focus these resources on locally-determined priorities to provide students with access to a well-rounded education, including rigorous coursework, and to improve school conditions and the use of technology.

Non-Cognitive Factors.—The Committee notes that programs designed to support non-cognitive factors such as critical thinking skills, social skills, work ethic, problem solving, and community responsibility are an eligible use of funds SSAE grants supporting a well-rounded education.

School Safety Measures.—Through SSAE grants, school districts should consider utilizing funds for security hardening measures. These security measures can include bullet resistant doors and glass with hinge-locking mechanisms, immediate notification systems to emergency 911, mechanisms that provide real time action- able intelligence direct to law enforcement and first responders, or installation of distraction devices or other countermeasures administered by law enforcement and first responders.

As a member of the Title IV-A Coalition, NAfME is working very closely with members of Congress on both Appropriations Committees to ensure Title IV-A follows its original intent, as outlined and created by ESSA, for the final FY 2019 appropriations bill.

Ronny Lau, Assistant Director of Public Policy, July 6, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (