Mixed News for Pell in Senate Education Spending Bill
Bill would increase maximum award by $100 and cut Pell funding by $600 million

June 28, 2018
Statement of James Kvaal

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal year 2019 education spending bill that increases the Pell award by a modest but meaningful $100, and cuts $600 million from the Pell Grant reserve fund. A broad coalition of Pell advocates has for years urged Congress to protect and strengthen the grant, including in a letter earlier this week from over 65 organizations, representing students, teachers, veterans, consumers, civil rights, businesses, and more. While the Senate’s spending bill heeds in part their call to increase the maximum award to at least keep pace with inflation and protect all Pell Grant funds for use in the Pell program, more work is needed to prevent the Pell Grant from falling even further behind rising college costs and sustain the program’s current solid fiscal footing.