Yesterday the full U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $169.6 billion appropriations bill for FY11 funding for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
The bill as passed by the Senate Committee maintains a level discretionary funding base for the Federal Pell Grant program of $4,860. This amount combined with a mandatory add-on from the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act provides a maximum award of $5,550 in the 2011-12 year.
The bill passed out of Committee, however, did not include the $5.7 billion to fill an estimated Pell Grant shortfall in the 2011-12 year. Senate Democrats on the committee stated that addressing the shortfall will have to wait until the bill is either considered by the full Senate or during conference committee with the House.
In addition, the bill maintains level funding for the majority of other student aid programs. This includes Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships.
Finally, funding for TRIO would increase by $15 million and Perkins cancellations would receive no funding.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.