Monday, April 18, 2011

President Signs CR FY 2011

The long awaited FY 2011 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1473) was signed into law by President Obama last week. In a bipartisan effort, both the House and the Senate approved the bill that would avoid government shutdown and fund the entire government until September 30, 2011. The highly anticipated budget compromise is intended to lower federal agency budgets by $38 billion in the second half of 2011.  Recent figures from the Congressional Budgetary Office (CBO), however, show that the budget compromise may fall short in its anticipated funding cuts by trimming only $352 million for this fiscal year. CBO analysts found that $13 billion to $18 billion of the cuts involve money that existed only on paper and was unlikely to be tapped in the next decade.  Below is a list of priority funding areas-labor, education, health and human services, and housing-that we believe are of particular interest to the communities we serve:   
Byrne Criminal Justice Program- The CR includes $1.12 billion for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance, which includes Byrne grants and SCAAP funding.

Career Pathways Innovation Fund- The CR rescinds funding for the Career Pathways Innovation Fund (CPIF), which replaced the Community Based Job Training grant program and provides grants to community colleges to support career training programs. The fund was believed to be duplicative of  the TAA Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT). 

Choice Neighborhoods- While Choice Neighborhoods was funded at $65 million in Fiscal Year 2010, the CR appears to provide no funding for Choice Neighborhoods. However, HUD has indicated that it will use up to $65 million of the $100 million allocated for HOPE VI for Choice Neighborhoods.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – The CDBG will be funded at $3.3 billion, down $643 million from FY10. The program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states to develop viable urban communities for low and moderate income persons. 

Community Health Centers- The budget deal would eliminate $600 million in discretionary funding for community health centers. It is expected that the Affordable Care Act’s $1 billion in mandatory funds directed to health centers will lessen the effect of this reduction

Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)- The CSBG will be funded at $703 billion, roughly equal to the FY10 level. CSBG funds provide a range of services and activities to assist the needs of low-income individuals including the homeless, migrants and the elderly.
Green Jobs Innovation Fund- The bill eliminates the Green Jobs Innovation Fund in FY 2011. The CR does not rescind the funds appropriated in FY10, thus  the Green Jobs Innovation Fund Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA) that went out in February are still valid and those grants will eventually be awarded. 
Head Start- The bill provides $7.575 billion for Head Start, $340 million more than FY 2010. 

Hope VI- The CR reduces funding for HOPE VI from $200 million in FY10 to $100 million in FY 2011. 

Job Corps- The Office of Job Corps funding is maintained at last year’s level of $1.708 billion, though the CR would rescind $75 million in previously appropriated but unobligated construction funds. 

Pell Grants- The bill preserves the Pell grant program, the largest source of need-based grants to college students with the maximum grant amount remaining at $5,550. The bill however, will cut an initiative called “year round” Pell. This cut is expected to save $35 billion over 10 years. 

Promise Neighborhoods- The CR provides $30 million for Promise Neighborhoods. This is an increase of $20 million from FY10. It is unclear how the $30M will be used for planning or implementation grants. Public comments on the draft notice are currently under review. 

Race to the Top- The budget agreement would provide $700 million for Race to Top in FY 2011, which is below the $1.35  billion request made by the Obama administration. Race to the Top grants for school innovation are designed to lead to significant improvements in student achievement, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment rates. These funds should still go to states, not Local Education Agencies.

School Improvement Grants- The bill provides $536 million for these grants which seek to turn around the lowest achieving schools, specifically Title I recipients.

Sustainable Communities- The bill provides $100 million for the Sustainable Communities initiative in FY 2011, which is a decrease of $50 million compared to  the FY 2010 enacted amount. The $100 million in available funds will result in $70 million for the Regional Integrated Planning Grants and $30 million for the Community Challenge Planning Grants.

TANF- The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund expired on September 30, 2010. The CR does not include funding for TANF.

Teacher Incentive Fund: The bill provides $400 million for FY 2011, which is the same amount as FY 2010. 

Title I- The CR would keep funding at $14.5 billion for Title I grants to school districts with needy students.

YouthBuild- The bill provides $80 million for YouthBuild a reduction from the FY 2010 level of $102.5 million.

As the CR would authorize funding through the end of FY 2011, Congress is now considering the FY 2012 budget. We’ll keep you updated as the details of the new budget unfold.

Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution, The National Skills Coalition
FY 2011 CR Impact on Workforce Programs, The National Skills Coalition  

US Senate Committee on Appropriations 

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