The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a $13 trillion six-bill spending package, H.R. 7617, for fiscal year 2021, The Hill reported.
The Democrat-led measure would provide $73.5 billion for the Education Department, a $716 million boost over current levels. It would increase funding for higher education institutions by $81 million to $2.6 billion, including $49 million more for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions. Under the plan, the maximum Pell Grant award would increase by $150 to $6,495. The bill would also provide $1.2 billion for Federal Work Study, an increase of $30 million; $880 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, an increase of $15 million; $1.1 billion for Federal TRIO programs, an increase of $10 million; and $370 million for GEAR UP, an increase of $5 million.
Additionally, the spending package would amend the so-called 90-10 rule—tightening the maximum share of revenue for-profit institutions can take in from federal sources at 85 percent and counting military education benefits as federal revenue—and block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from carrying out her new Title IX regulations governing sexual misconduct in schools and colleges. The Title IX rules are currently scheduled to take effect this month, over the objections of many school and college groups.
Ahead of the bill's passage, AACRAO and other higher education associations sent a letter in support of the higher education-related provisions.
While the House-approved appropriations minibus is not expected to gain traction in the Republican-controlled Senate, the upper chamber has stalled on appropriations work this summer, the Hill reported. With the probability of a deal uncertain, Congress is likely to pass a stopgap measure to keep the government funded and prevent a shutdown ahead of November's elections.
U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Press Release