The U.S. Department of Education would receive $49 billion — an increase of about $5.5 billion or 13% over fiscal year 2022 — for federal K-12 education programs, according to a new spending plan recently released by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Included in the FY 2023 bill for pre-K-12 education is $20.1 billion for Title I grants, $15.3 billion for special education, and $12 billion for Head Start, all of which are at lower levels than the House Appropriation Committee plan and President Biden’s request.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s proposal is part of a $1.7 trillion FY23 appropriations bill for the Departments of Defense, Transportation, Education, Health and Human Services, and more.

The bill’s text and supporters say the education portion addresses the continuing pandemic recovery effort for schools and fosters equitable ways to get young children and students back on track.

According to a report from K-12 Dive, other education-related items in the bill include:

  • Several proposals for family engagement, including including $45 million, an increase of $15 million, for Parent Information Centers under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Support for access to childcare and early childhood education, including $7.2 billion, an increase of $1 billion, for Child Care and Development Block Grants.
  • An additional investment of $95 million for early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or at-risk of such delays and their families, for a total of $591.3 million.

Republicans denounced the bill, indication opposition around the size of proposed spending for nondefense programs and the inclusion of funds to support abortions, including for the costs of travel and lodging to obtain abortions and the construction of abortion facilities.

With the partisan divide and an August recess, it’s uncertain if Congress will agree on a spending plan before Oct. 1, the first day of the 2023 fiscal year.