The federal government’s current fiscal year began on October 1, 2008. At that time, legislators could not agree on changes in funding levles so federal agencies continued to be funded at the previous fiscal year’s amounts (the amounts signed into law for October 1, 2007- September 30, 2008). Because of this decision, legislators started working on a new spending bill when they began meeting again in January. On March 11th, the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill was signed into law. This law lays out the amount of money available for federally funded agencies through the end of the current fiscal year- September 30, 2009.
The good news is that the Omnibus funding package included increases in several early childhood education programs. Funding for Head Start was increased by 3%, giving it an additional $234,810,000. The Child Care Development Block Grant received $65,010,000 more in funds for an increase of 3%. The bill also increased funding for the Title 1 and IDEA Part C programs. These increases are in addition to the funds found in the stimulus bill.
While the Omnibus funding package was being created, President Obama presented his blueprint for the 2010 fiscal year budget. While exact numbers are not known, we do know that the President and his Administration is committed to early education and the programs that support it (see our previous blog entry). We will learn more about the exact federal funding recommendations next month so make sure to check back!