National nonprofit applauds bipartisan support for federal investments in education and workforce development
By Karishma Merchant, JFF Associate Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
BOSTON, Dec. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Jobs for the Future (JFF) applauds House and Senate negotiators for reaching consensus this week on legislation that would fund the federal government for the coming year. We are especially encouraged to see bipartisan support for increased funding of vital education, workforce development, and child care programs, even though more is needed.
JFF urges members of the 118th Congress to build on this bipartisan progress when they convene in January and collaboratively develop solutions—including additional funding where urgently needed—that enable our systems to meet the complex and rapidly shifting needs of learners and workers.
The House and Senate must each pass the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill—or a short-term spending bill—by Friday, December 23, to avoid a government shutdown.
The appropriations bill includes the following FY23 funding increases for key education and skills development programs:
- a $100 million increase in career and technical education, for a total of $2.2 billion, including $25 million for Innovation and Modernization Grants;
- a $50 million increase in state grants funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, for a total of $2.9 billion
- a $25 million increase in adult education, for a total of $729 million
- a $15 million increase in community college training that leads to quality jobs and careers in in-demand industries (Strengthening Community College Training Grant program), for a total of $65 million
- a $50 million increase in Registered Apprenticeships, for a total of $285 million
- a $13 million increase in job training and preparation for people reentering the community after incarceration (Reentry Employment Opportunities program), for a total of $115 million.
Negotiators also agreed on several key provisions to better support students from low-income backgrounds, including a $500 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award for college tuition, a nearly $2 billion increase to the Child Care Development Block Grant, and a $10 million increase the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools program.
While the bill reflects a continued commitment to key education and workforce programs, this legislation is not sufficient to fully address the needs of millions of learners and workers who face systemic barriers to education and quality jobs. Additional funding is essential to meet the promise of the new jobs created by passage of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
About Jobs for the Future: Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. www.jff.org.