By Scott Brooks, Vice President, Corporate Development
If it feels like we’ve been waiting on final federal education funding for a while, it’s because we have been.
Fiscal Year 2018 began October 1, 2017. Since then, continuing resolutions have delayed the budget. While there has been speculation about budget cuts and how federal education would be funded, no final numbers have been set — until now.
In our recent on-demand webinar, “What Funding and Policy Changes are Brewing in DC,” Agile teamed up with education expert Doug Mesecar to walk through the 2018 budget that was signed March 23. And, in our opinion, many of the results were worth the wait.
Funding Forecast: Surprisingly Sunny
For many months, it appeared as though the federal education budget was facing significant cuts. The $68 billion budget set for FY17 was looking more like $66 billion in 2018, and some programs were facing decreased funding, level funding or zeroing out completely.
In reality, many programs fared better than expected, seeing stable and even higher than anticipated funding:
- Title I: Increased $300 million to $15.8 billion
- Title II, Part A: Level at $2.1 billion
- Title III, Part A: Level at $737 million
- Title IV, Part A: Increased $700 million to $1.1 billion
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Increased $20 million to $1.21 billion
- IDEA: Increased $275 million to $12.28 billion
- Child Care Development Block Grant: Increased $2.37 billion to $5.2 billion
- Head Start: Increased $610 million to $9.86 billion
- Preschool Development Grants: Level at $250 million
These new figures could bode well for the budget in FY19 as well. Because the prior year’s funding typically sets the baseline for the following year, one might expect to see the same or similar funding levels when FY19 starts October 1, 2018.
For a more detailed breakdown of 2018 federal education funding, watch the full webinar on demand.
How You Can Clear the Fog
Funding uncertainty has led many state education agencies and local education agencies to err on the side of caution when making purchases and planning budgets. Some have chosen to spend more conservatively, and others have delayed their decision-making entirely.
But now we know two things: money is available, and in most cases, districts should start receiving it soon (we are three-quarters of the way through FY18, after all). Help bring clarity to funding uncertainty by talking with your target states and districts about what dollars are available at the federal level, and help them decide how those dollars will be spent.
Keep State Plans on Your Radar
The federal education budget may be set, but ESSA plans, which are said to “unlock funding,” aren’t approved for every state. Plans for 34 states, plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico, have been approved, but 17 states are still awaiting a green light, including California and Florida.
Keep an eye on the state plan approval status in your target markets, and make sure you know the plans inside and out. When you know your customers’ priorities and what funding is available to fill those needs, you can develop targeted marketing and sales messaging around that information.
Use Agile to reach your target markets with a tailored multichannel marketing and sales strategy. Using our high-quality, comprehensive data and other services, we can help you reserve your share of these newly available federal funding dollars.
About the Author
Scott Brooks is the Vice President of Corporate Development at Agile Education Marketing. To that role, Scott brings more than 25 years of experience within corporate development and leadership positions at software and services organizations. He has extensive background in developing and training marketing and data software for a variety of industries, including education. At Agile, Scott has spearheaded new go-to-market strategies and the development of various technology solutions, such as the new Campus education marketing software. Reach Scott at email@example.com.