Policy Alert/Federal Budget Process
Congress is working toward developing appropriations for FY 2016 and you have an upcoming opportunity to meet with them during the spring recess. The U.S. House will be on recess from March 27-April 12. The U.S. Senate will be on recess from March 28-April 12. This is the perfect opportunity to meet with them and make the case for an increased support for early childhood education within the federal budget. Following is some information on the current budget process.
NOTE: You’ll see the term “Dear Colleagues”. This is a letter which is used to get signatures from Representatives and Senators who support a certain issue. In our case, these letters support enhanced funding for early childhood education and you are urged to contact your Representatives and Senators to encourage them to become a supporter of the enhanced funding.
· Prior to the recess, members of Congress are being asked to submit their requests for discretionary funding. Representatives must have their requests to their Appropriation Chairs by March 26th. Senators must have their requests in by March 27th. These requests will be considered and possibly incorporated into the appropriations requests for different agencies. There are “Dear Colleague” letters circulating that Representatives and Senators are being asked to support. On the House side, requests are going in to increase funding for CCDBG and Early Intervention (Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts), to increase funding for Head Start (Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California) and to increase funding for Preschool Development Grants (Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia). The same type of letters are expected to surface in the Senate this week.
· Senator Casey of Pennsylvania is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter to support a dedicated funding stream for early childhood in the ESEA reauthorization. The deadline for signatures on this letter of support is March 19th.
· State plans for the implementation of the Child Care & Development Block Grant are now due on March 1, 2016. You are encouraged to work with your state administrators to develop the plan for your state. Implementation guides are being developed by the National Women’s Law Center and CLASP.
The recess is the perfect opportunity to meet with your representatives and make the case for an increased support for early childhood education within the federal budget.