NAFSA is urging Congress to support robust funding of international education programs as part of FY2023 appropriations. We request Congress provide $1.1 billion for the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and $161 million for the Education Department’s Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs.

 

Legislative Update

On July 28, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released 12 draft spending bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, including bills for State and Education Departments. On June 30, the House Appropriations Committee voted out their FY23 spending bills. Details and a comparison of the House and Senate proposals are below:

Fiscal Year 2023 International Education Appropriations

FY2023 begins October 1, 2022 and ends September 30, 2023

U.S. Department of Education 
Program Senate FY 2023 House FY 2023 FY 2022 Funding
Title VI $76.4 million $76.9 million $71.9 million
Fulbright-Hays $10.3 million $11.8 million $9.8 million
Total International Education and Foreign Language Studies $86.7 million $88.7 million $81.7 million

Full House LHHSED bill text and accompanying report language

Full Senate LHHSED bill text and accompanying report language  

U.S. Department of State
Program Senate FY 2023 House FY 2023 FY 2022 Funding
Fulbright $290 million $285 million $275 million
Gilman $17 million $17 million $16 million
J. Christopher Stephens Virtual Exchange Initiative $6 million  $6 million $5.5 million
Total for Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs $781.5 million $773 million $753 million

Full House SFOPS bill text and accompanying report language

Full Senate SFOPS bill text and accompanying report language

In report language accompanying the FY2023 State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies Appropriations bill:

Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. students. - The Senate recommends funds above the prior fiscal year level and encourages the Secretary of State to incorporate recommendations of the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program into such program, as appropriate. The House recommends allocating $2.5 million for the program (this is $500,000 above current funding.)

The House bill also provides the necessary authority to resume U.S. contributions to UNESCO and supports the Administration's efforts to rejoin the organization by paying down U.S. accrued arrears (Recall that the U.S. withdrew its membership in UNESCO in 2017.)

Policy Recommendations

Policy & Advocacy Resources

  • On March 31, 107 U.S. House members signed a letter in support of $1.1 billion in FY2023 to support critical programs under the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 
  • On April 27, 100 U.S. House members signed a letter in support of increased fiscal 2023 funding for Title VI international education and language learning programs at the U.S. Department of Education. The bipartisan letter, led by Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Young Kim (R-CA), urges the leaders of the House Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee to provide a total of $161.1 million for these programs in FY2023. This request, for $141.1 million for Title VI and $20 million for Fulbright-Hays programs, would bring the funding back to pre-2011 levels, adjusted for inflation.  
  • On May 18, 34 U.S. Senators, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Todd Young (R-IN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) signed a letter to Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee leadership in support of increased funding for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays International Education and Foreign Language Studies programs at the Department of Education. 
  • On May 19, 36 U.S. Senators, led by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) signed a letter to Senate State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee leadership requesting $1.1 billion for U.S. Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. 
  • On May 25, NAFSA, as a member of the Coalition for International Education, joined letters to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations urging increased funding for international education and foreign language studies programs, specifically $141.1 million for U.S. Department of Education Title VI and $20 million for Fulbright for FY 2023. This request would restore funding to FY 2010 levels as adjusted by inflation. 
  • On June 30, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee reported out the Fiscal 2023 Labor/HHS/Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which includes $88.7 million for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs, an increase of $7 million over Fiscal 2022. The committee also approved the Fiscal 2023 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which provides $773 million in funding for educational and cultural exchange programs, marking a $20 million increase over Fiscal 2022. This bill also includes, for the first time, $2.5 million for the IDEAS grant program
  • On July 28, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released 12 draft spending bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, including bills for State and Education Departments. For the Department of Education, the bill provides $76.4 million for Title VI and $10.3 million for Fulbright-Hays. For the State Department, the bill provides $781.5 million in funding for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), including $290 million for Fulbright, $17 million for Gilman, and $6 million for the J. Christopher Stephens Virtual Exchange Initiative. These bills are not expected to be taken up for a vote; instead will likely serve as a starting point for eventual omnibus negotiations with the House. FY2023 starts on October 1.

 

Take Action

  • A Senate sign-on letter requesting $1 billion for international education and exchange programs of the Department of State is now circulating. Organized by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), the deadline for his office to add new signatures is May 10. Urge your senators to get onboard!