Federal money will continue to flow to state and local school systems — at least for now — after lawmakers in Congress struck a deal late Saturday for a continuing resolution to keep the government open through Nov. 17. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law that night.
In the days leading up to Saturday's deadline for Congress to approve an FY 2024 budget, early childhood and K-12 educators were concerned that a lapse in government spending would immediately impact Head Start programs, Impact Aid for schools on tax-exempt federal lands, and nutrition services for infants, toddlers and K-12 students, including school meals.
The continuing resolution keeps the government open, and federal funding for now will remain at FY 23 levels. It also means lawmakers will need to negotiate on a full-year appropriations bill before the Nov. 17 deadline.
As Congress debated the FY 23 budget last fall, it also nearly missed the Oct. 1 deadline and had to approve a continuing resolution. The FY 23 budget was finalized in late December.
In a Sept. 28 letter to Congress from the Committee for Education Funding on behalf of more than 100 education organizations and institutions, the group urged lawmakers to keep the government open even if through a stopgap measure.
"Nothing is gained by allowing government funding to lapse, and in fact a government shutdown not only harms the economy as a whole, but it also hurts individuals and wastes federal funds," the letter said.