U.S. House Proposals Could Hurt Children, Borrowers, and Undermine Education in Massachusetts

Update from MASC President Stacey Rizzo and MASC Executive Director Glenn Koocher

The ongoing stalemate in lifting the debt ceiling puts at risk the nation’s full faith and credit and would impose cuts that could hurt children and undermine education, raise costs for families, and set back economic growth. It would also mean lashing critical funding while advancing proposals to add over $3 trillion to deficits through tax benefits skewed to the wealthy and big corporations.

While the Senate plan invests an additional $11 billion to improve education while lowering everyday costs of essentials like child-care for families, the House proposal would cut a broad range of critical programs by 22%, which could have devastating impacts on children and students from Pre-K to college.

In Massachusetts, the House bill would:
• Gut Funding for Low-Income Students. The proposal would cut approximately $59 million in Title I funding for Massachusetts schools serving low-income children, impacting an estimated 400,000 students and reducing program funding to its lowest level in almost a decade—a cut equivalent to removing more than 900 teachers and specialized instructional support personnel from classrooms.

• Cut Support for Students with Disabilities. Under the proposal, as many as 178,000 children in Massachusetts with disabilities would face reduced supports—a cut in IDEA funding equivalent to removing approximately 1,100 teachers and related services providers from the classroom.

• Slash Mental Health Support for Students. The House proposal would limit educators’ abilities to address student mental health issues, including through violence, suicide, and drug abuse prevention, by cutting Title IV, Part A funding for Massachusetts schools by about $3.2 million.

• Eliminate Student Debt Relief. The proposal would cancel the student debt relief plan, keeping much needed emergency student loan relief of up to $20,000 from 380,000 approved applicants across Massachusetts recovering from the effects of the pandemic. It would also block the creation of new, more affordable student loan payment plans.

• Make College More Expensive for 380,000 Massachusettsans. The House proposal could not only eliminate Pell Grants altogether for 1,500 students in Massachusetts, it could also reduce the maximum award by nearly $1,000 for the remaining 380,000 students who receive Pell Grants—making it harder for them to attend and afford college.