Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Education Budget Rumblings from D.C. — All Cuts, All the Time

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:24 AM

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We've already heard the Trump people's plans to cut $9.2 billion from next year's federal education budget. Now comes news they want to cut about $3 billion from the budget for rest of this fiscal year, which has five months left. From Politico's Morning Education report:
After proposing a $9.2 billion cut to the Education Department’s budget for next year, the President Donald Trump is now calling on Congress to slash nearly $3 billion in education funding for the remaining five months of this fiscal year, according to a document obtained by POLITICO. The White House on Friday sent House and Senate appropriators detailed instructions on how they should craft spending legislation to fund the federal government beyond April 28, when the current stopgap spending bill expires.
The proposed cuts include: Pell Grant money ($1.3 billion); Title II funding to provide professional development for teachers and principals and to reduce class sizes; Grants for physical education programs ($47 million); Grants for school counseling ($49 million); Money to increase math and science instruction ($152 million) [Fun fact: Ed Sec Betsy DeVos and First Daughter Ivanka Trump will be attending an event promoting STEM education today.]; and the Striving Readers program to improve literacy instruction ($189 million).

Meanwhile, the conservative Heritage Foundation has put out its budget proposal for 2018. Here's are some of its education cuts, which include phasing out Head Start entirely over the next decade and cutting the budget for the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights in half.
Among Heritage’s proposals: Eliminate the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s job-training programs, which involves many community colleges; eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service, which supports AmeriCorps; and reduce funding for Head Start with the intention of eliminating it completely over the next decade. The think tank also proposes to halve the budget for the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights and eliminate competitive and project grant programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Other formula grant programs for K-12 education would be slashed by 10 percent under the plan.

The budget proposal also proposes getting rid of the Obama administration’s “gainful employment” regulation, which judges career college programs based on the ratio of graduates’ student loan debt relative to their earnings; switching to fair-value accounting for how the government tallies the cost of federal student loans; and making “major reforms to accreditation, including decoupling federal financing from the ossified accreditation system.”

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