What are the president’s funding priorities for education?

March 20, 2017

President Trump’s 2018 budget outlines the administration’s priorities in education. Note that there is new proposed funding for school choice and charter schools, and the elimination or reduction of funding for several other education programs and initiatives.

The president’s 2018 Budget provides $59 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education, a $9 billion or 13 percent reduction below the 2017 annualized continuing resolution (CR) level.

The president’s 2018 budget for the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Increases investments in public and private school choice by $1.4 billion compared to the 2017 annualized CR level, ramping up to an annual total of $20 billion, and an estimated $100 billion including matching state and local funds.
  • Includes in the additional investment in 2018 a $168 million increase for charter schools, $250 million for a new private school choice program, and a $1 billion increase for Title I, dedicated to encouraging districts to adopt a system of student based budgeting and open enrollment that enables federal, state, and local funding to follow the student to the public school of his or her choice.
  • Maintains approximately $13 billion in funding for IDEA programs to support students with special education needs.
  • Eliminates the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program.
  • Eliminates the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before and after-school programs as well as summer programs, resulting in savings of $1.2 billion from the 2017 annualized CR level.
  • Eliminates the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program.
  • Maintains Pell Grant program by level funding the discretionary appropriation while proposing a cancellation of $3.9 billion from unobligated carryover funding. Note that while Pell Grant funding would not go down, $3.9 billion would not be available under the president’s budget.
  • Maintains $492 million in funding for programs that serve high percentages of minority students.
  • Reduces Federal Work-Study significantly.
  • Provides $808 million for the Federal TRIO Programs and $219 million for GEAR UP, funds continuation awards only, pending the completion of an upcoming rigorous evaluation of a portion of the program. The plan reduces funding for these programs by $193 million.
  • Eliminates or reduces over 20 categorical programs including Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property, and International Education programs.
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