House of Representatives Votes to Cut Education Funding by $5 BIllion

Funding for education and research will be slashed under the spending bill passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday morning. The bill, which passed by a vote of 235 to 189, will cut $61 billion from budget for fiscal year 2011 and could significantly affect whether or not some college students will be able to continue to fund their education. The US Department of Education’s budget would be cut by $5 billion under the bill.


The Chronicle of High Education says that the House’s spending bill proposes to cut the maximum Pell Grant by 15 percent, or $845, and eliminate dozens of education programs. The bill would also reduce spending on the National Institutes of Health to 2008 levels and set the National Science Foundation‘s budget $150-million below its level in 2010. In other words, the House bill directly opposes President Obama’s calls to put resources behind education and innovation as key to lifting the country from the economic recession.

The House’s bill also, in a somewhat roundabout way, ends up supporting some for-profit colleges by preventing the Department of Education from enforcing a rule which would penalize for-profits that ‘saddle students with mountains of debt.’ The gainful employment rul would ‘cut off federal aid to programs whose students have the highest debt burdens and lowest loan-repayment rates, while limiting enrollment growth at hundreds of other programs.’

Says the Chronicle of High Education:


The amendment affecting for-profits, which was passed Friday, 289-136, would prohibit the department from using federal funds to enforce its proposed “gainful employment rule” in the 2011 fiscal year, which ends September 30. That delay, backed by the House’s Republican majority and more than four dozen Democratic members as well, would give for-profit colleges and their allies more time to block or overturn the rule, which would cut off federal student aid to programs whose borrowers have high debt-to-income ratios and low loan-repayment rates. The Education Department is expected to issue a final rule in the coming weeks.

The amendment would also bar the department from using federal money to enforce new rules that will require for-profit colleges to report more information about student outcomes and to notify the department when they create new programs.

In other words, the House is blocking a measure that would require for-profit colleges to be more accountable, if they wish to use federal money. Such colleges, which rely heavily on taxpayer support and high student loan default rates have been increasingly shown to promise more than they deliver.

Supporters of the amendment, including its sponsor, Rep. John P. Kline Jr., a Republican of Minnesota, chairman of the education committee, argue that for-profit colleges preservs ‘students’ right to choose which college they attended,’ but overlook the fact that such colleges—being for-profit—are more likely to tailor their programs to students’ wishes, without regard for academic standards and educational outcomes.I advise students at my college about applying to graduate school and have been struck by how often students do not realize that some programs are for-profit, and that there is a significant difference in the degree they earn from such schools.

EdWeek quotes two Democrats who have ‘blasted’ the bill:

“From crib to college, students will be at a disadvantage if the House proposal is enacted,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who oversee the Senate panel responsible for education funding, said earlier this week as the House debated the bill. “There is no question that the time has come for tough budget decisions, but the smart way to bring down the deficit is for Congress to pursue a balanced approach of major spending cuts and necessary revenue increases, while continuing to make investments in education.”

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, also criticized the bill, saying today that, “with cuts to Head Start, our most vulnerable students and to job training, the Republicans are showing their true colors.”

The House bill faces Democratic opposition in the Senate, which will vote on the bill in early March, as well as a Presidential veto.


Previous Care2 Coverage

House Passes Bill With More Than $61 Billion in Spending Cuts

Obama’s Proposed Budget ‘Cuts What We Can’t afford to Pay For What We Cannot Do Without’

Photo by Editor B.


William C
William C4 days ago

Thanks for caring.

W. C
W. C6 days ago

Thank you for the information.

Bobbi C.
Bobbi C5 years ago

This is only 1/75 of what is proposed to be cut. Here is the real list; These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting. Read to the end.

* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy -- $445 million annual savings.
* Save America's Treasures Program -- $25 million annual savings.
* International Fund for Ireland -- $17 million annual savings.
* Legal Services Corporation -- $420 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Arts -- $167.5 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Humanities -- $167.5 million annual savings.
* Hope VI Program -- $250 million annual savings.
* Amtrak Subsidies -- $1.565 billion annual savings.
* Eliminate duplicating education programs -- H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
* U.S. Trade Development Agency -- $55 million annual savings.
* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy -- $20 million annual savings.
* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding -- $47 million annual savings.
* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy -- $430,000 annual savings.
* Community Development Fund -- $4.5 billion annual savings.
* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid -- $24 million annual savings.
* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half -- $7.5 billion annual savings
* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% -- $600 million annual savings.
* Essential Air Service -- $150 million annual savings.
* Technology Innovat

Mary Vaughn
Mary Vaughn6 years ago

Robby C
You sound like a Tea Party member to me. Always using that debt as the most important issue the US has. You will probably vote for Perry or Bachmann and that is your right. Perry wants to privatize all schools, do away with OSHA, FDA, USDA, lower the minimum wage,or do away with it altogether, do away with workers bargaining rights and do away with all regulations on corporations and basically take this country back to the late 19th and early 20th century. If that isn't enough he also wants to force everyone to become an evangelical and do away with several ammendments in the constitution. If people think the educational system is in trouble now just wait until all schools are privatized and they have no competition or subsidy from the government. Only the wealthiest children will get an education. When this country becomes a nation of have's and have nots i really do not think the most important thing your children will be worried about is how much the national debt is.

jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

No problem. All their children are in private schools.

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila7 years ago

Individuals need to contact John Boehner and express your distress at the way the GOP is heading. Instead of Jobs they are attacking women's health issues, the unions and protecting the wealthy. Write your grievances to
Please spread this email address to your friends, ask them to write a polite but pointed letter to this guy. He won't care but he won't like emails pointing out the stupidity of their stance on everything and failure to act like responsible citizens and public employees. (we do pay their big fat wages, cadillac healthcare and bloated pensions)

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila7 years ago

Sadly teachers are being attacked... Sometimes the parents and administration tie their hands. Ever read Erin Gruwell's Freedom Writer's Diary? (no not watched the movie which left most of the important issues out) There was also the issue of pissy jealous teachers who didn't like being 'made to look bad' by a competent teacher. My thinking is there are more good teachers than the mean spirited ones depicted by the new GOP.

Tim Cheung
Tim C7 years ago


Diana S.
Diana S7 years ago

Let's FUND education (less ALL competitive sports programs) with the money we will SAVE by DE-funding our congresspeople's salaries, expense accounts, free postage, free travel for family members, free cars, etc-etc-etc!

This would probably produce enough extra cash to give a little more to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Robby C.
Past Member 7 years ago

"yet we gave the people making over 250,000 a year a tax break"

-When...? Oh, you mean when we RE-extended tax breaks for EVERYONE. Taxes have not changed since last year, except for several pay brackets have been slightly extended. This is one bit of liberal BS I keep seeing & I keep asking why people don't admit that EVERYONE got tax breaks & how they figure the "rich" got something that no one else did. It's not true. What is this- "we get to keep our's, but you can't keep yours & if you do, we'll keep whining until you give your's up to us...?" Sounds pretty spoiled to me. I am sick of the one's getting millions of dollars in bonuses alone. Here in TN, KUB has raised energy costs at LEAST 5 times since the Bush/BO bail-outs. I'm sick of the greedy whining about someone ONLY having to pay 35% to the govt & then, the REAL rich are the ones who just find ways to give themselves raises which are untouchable w/taxes. These are the ones surrounding BO (& those who did surround Bush) etc. It's both sides.