August 6, 2001

Education Spending—A Comparison of Three Plans

This week the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a division of the Library of Congress, produced a report comparing the House, Senate, and president's goals for education spending in the fiscal year of 2002. (See chart below.)

The CRS report says that under current law, there are 55 Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) programs, costing taxpayers approximately $18.41 billion. Additionally, there are 64 programs that are not included in the ESEA (e.g., Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), math and science education, and technology programs), costing taxpayers $25.11 billion.

According to CRS, in April, President George W. Bush asked Congress to consolidate ESEA and all other programs contained in Congress's education bills. Under his proposal, ESEA would shrink to 32 programs and its new budget would cost taxpayers approximately $19.01 billion. The 64 non-ESEA programs would be reduced to 37, costing $26.62 billion.

In contrast to the president's plan, the Senate bill, passed in June, would expand ESEA and all other federal education programs both financially and numerically, the CRS report said. Under Senate bill 1, ESEA programs would increase from 55 to 89, costing $31.68 billion, and other education programs would nearly double—increasing in number to 101 and racking up a new budget of $40.88 billion.

The House passed a bill in May, which is closer to the president's plan, but CRS figures show that the House measure still fails to significantly reduce federal control of education. House Resolution 1 would decrease ESEA programs to 47, costing $22.87 billion, and all other programs to 52, costing $22.94 billion.

S. 1 and H.R. 1 are now being reconciled in conference committee. HSLDA is working to ensure that home school freedoms are protected in the final merger of these bills and encouraging Congress to reduce the federal role in education. To read more about S. 1 and H.R. 1, visit our federal legislation page.

CRS Chart

The following chart from the Congressional Research Service compares current law with the three plans.

Education Spending: House-Senate Comparison
FY '01
Current Law
FY '02
HOUSE Passed
FY '02
FY '02
President's Request
ESEA programs ONLY:
55 programs
$18.41 billion
ESEA programs ONLY:
47 programs
$22.87 billion (+14 such sums)
ESEA programs ONLY:
89 programs
$31.68 billion
(+10 such sums)
ESEA programs ONLY:
32 programs
$19.01 billion
All programs in H.R. 1:*
64 programs
$25.11 billion
All programs in H.R. 1:
52 programs
$22.94 billion
(+16 such sums)
All programs in S. 1:
101 programs
$40.88 billion (+14 such sums)
All programs in H.R. 1 / S. 1:
37 programs
$26.62 billion

* H.R. 1 and S. 1 included authorization for programs not in ESEA such as IDEA, math and science education, and technology programs.

(Source: CRS Report: K–12 education funding: FY2002 authorizations of appropriations proposed in H.R. 1 by the House and the Senate. July 12, 2001. Author: Irwin, Paul M. Product Number: RL31047)