Federal Money Scarce for Education and Job Training Programs•
In a rare example of bipartisan cooperation, Congress on Thursday passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running until September 30, 2013 and avoid a government shutdown. The bill is now headed to President Obama for his signature.
The bill includes $1.043 trillion in funding. However the effects of the automatic budget cuts of sequestration will reduce that total to $984 billion. U.S. Department of Education and Department of Labor programs will continue to be funded at FY 2012 levels minus a 5 percent cut mandated by the sequester order.
The continuing resolution does include some core program increases, including an additional $250 million for the Women, Infants and Children program, which provides nutritional assistance to low-income mothers. The bill also provides an additional $30 million for the Jobs Corp program, a free education and job training program which serves 45,000 students nationwide. Enrollment in Job Corps is currently frozen and the additional funds will allow Job Corp Centers to begin enrolling new students.
We at Opportunity Nation are disappointed that most education and job training programs were level-funded and that an amendment by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa that would have increased funding for programs that would help to repair the ladder of opportunity for young people failed to pass.
Congress now turns its attention to the FY 2014 budget, which is expected to be contentious in both chambers.