House bill freezes maximum Pell award

The House subcommittee overseeing appropriations for education and job training programs on Friday approved a spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2019 that mirrors its FY 2018 funding bill — with some exceptions.

The bill from the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations would hold the maximum Pell Grant award at $6,095. Notably, the legislation does not divert any of the Pell Grant surplus into other programs.

While not all details are known yet regarding spending for other programs, it appears that funding for most other higher education programs, including Higher Education Act Title III and Title V programs, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study and others will be level with FY 2018.

According to remarks made at Friday’s subcommittee markup, at least one higher education program – Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) – was cut by approximately $13 million. In FY 2018, CCAMPIS was increased from $15 million to $50 million. There is at least one other cut to a higher education program to offset the $60 million increase for the Trio and GEAR UP programs.

Appropriators prioritized career, technical (CTE) and adult education, boosting funding by $115 million, an increase of more than 6 percent. It is not yet clear how or if that funding is split between CTE and adult education programs.

Most U.S. Department of Labor workforce training programs were level funded, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act dislocated worker, adult and youth funding streams. The subcommittee added $5 million to the department’s apprenticeship grant program, for a total of $150 million.

About the Author

Jim Hermes
is associate vice president of government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.