Thirty-five groups, including ACE, wrote to congressional leaders today encouraging them to finalize work on the FY 2017 appropriations process “in the most expedient and least disruptive way” and opposing the cuts to student aid and research proposed by the Trump administration.
The federal government is currently running on a stopgap-spending bill known as a continuing resolution, which expires on April 28. By that time, Congress must pass the funding bills or another stopgap measure, or the doors of almost all government agencies will close.
The letter follows a request from President Trump to Congress last month for nearly $18 billion in cuts to education, research and other programs for the six remaining months of FY 2017 to finance construction of a border wall and increase spending for the Department of Defense.
Among the requests is a $1.3 billion cut from the Pell Grant Program's projected surplus. ACE and other groups have advocated that the only proper use of the Pell surplus would be to strengthen the program, including restoration of year-round Pell Grants.
These proposed cuts for FY 2017 come on top of the administration’s budget request for FY 2018, which proposes taking nearly $4 billion in reserve funding from Pell. Other student aid programs—including Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Teacher Quality Partnerships—would be eliminated. Funding for the TRIO, GEAR UP and Federal Work-Study programs would be significantly reduced, and funding for historically black colleges would remain at current levels.