DFER Denounces House Republicans’ FY25 Funding Bill as a Reckless Assault on Public Education

Press Releases

June 28, 2024

The proposed budget cuts threaten essential education programs, undermine student support systems, and jeopardize the future of America’s students.

June 28, 2024

Contact: Lynn Sexton

(New York, NY, June 28, 2024) — Today, in response to the latest FY25 funding bill passed by House Republicans, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) CEO Jorge Elorza released the following statement, condemning the proposal for its harmful consequences for American students, labeling it a dangerous step backward for public education.

“Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) strongly opposes the partisan Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill that was passed out of the Subcommittee today by House Republicans. Once again, House Republicans have advanced a reckless and destructive set of proposals that would undermine the interests of our nation’s students and families. Today’s hurried process, reminiscent of past failed attempts, also neglects crucial discussions and good-faith negotiations necessary to create a fair and impactful bill. 

This proposal represents the latest attack on public education, at the moment when we need to unite around helping students recover from the learning loss experienced during the pandemic. 

The Republicans’ proposed cuts are a direct attack on the future of our nation’s students. These reductions in funding will severely disrupt the support systems that help ensure all students can prepare for college, careers, military service, and beyond. This budget proposal not only jeopardizes critical education programs but also reveals a distressing lack of commitment by Republicans to supporting our nation’s students.

Among the most damaging provisions, the bill proposes severe cuts to K-12 education, including critical programs like Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies. These cuts threaten to undermine the ability of schools and educators to support our nation’s most in-need students and further exacerbate historical disinvestment in under-resourced communities. Additionally, the proposed budget would significantly reduce funding for programs supporting English Language Learners and other essential initiatives that have historically received broad bipartisan support due to their vital role in promoting student success.

Higher Education is not safe from Republicans either, with the proposed decreases in federal student aid programs, including stagnant funding for Pell Grants and cuts to work-study and grant programs, which will make it harder for low-income and minority students to access and afford college—further perpetuating opportunity gaps. The elimination of support for programs like the Augustus Hawkins Centers of Excellence and reductions in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) threaten initiatives vital to educational innovation and diversity in the teaching workforce. Finally, Republicans seem to erroneously think that the relaunch of the simplified FAFSA this year went well, since they have decided to cut funding for the Office of Federal Student Aid at the very moment when it needs greater support to ensure all Americans have access to the grants and loans that make postsecondary education possible for millions of people.

This bill is a disservice to our nation’s commitment to preparing students for their futures. Now more than ever, we need to support our educators and students with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. Our focus should be on setting high expectations  for all students and providing the necessary tools to those who educate them, not cutting their resources. Instead of slashing funding, we should be working to strengthen programs that support high-quality, data-driven educational innovations.

While the bill proposes a modest boost in funding for public charter schools—which has garnered additional bipartisan support—this meager increase neither offsets nor alleviates the strains placed on the program by stagnant funding since FY19, such as, ever-growing waitlists of families for charter schools, rising facilities costs, and the burden of inflation. This, in addition to the overall detrimental effects of the proposed budget, underscores the bill’s failure to address the pressing needs of public education.

DFER emphasizes the need for Congress to reject this harmful bill and instead prioritize investments that strengthen public education, promote inclusive learning environments, and empower educators to deliver an equitable high-quality education to every student. It is crucial to uphold high standards for student achievement, ensure accountability for educational outcomes, and foster innovation to address the evolving needs of our education system.

DFER urges fellow Democrats to hold policymakers accountable and advocate for an education budget that reflects our party’s commitment to supporting every student’s success, regardless of their background. We call on the full House to reject this harmful bill and work collaboratively with the Senate and the Administration to create a budget that invests in our students and educators.”