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President Trump Releases Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2021

On Monday, the Trump Administration released its proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending. Overall, the budget proposal claims to cut the Department of Education (ED) by $6.4 billion, or 8.4 percent. The budget also includes $5 billion for proposed Education Freedom Scholarships, or tax credits for vouchers that could be used toward private school tuition.

Most formula and competitive grant programs authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would be eliminated and replaced with a proposed Elementary and Secondary Education for the Disadvantaged Block Grant, resulting in a reduction in K-12 spending by $4.8 billion. Those programs being replaced by the block grant include large programs such as Title I, 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, as well as smaller grant programs such as the Javits Gifted and Talented Program, Title II: Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants and Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants.

Speaking at ED during the release of the budget, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remarked that the block grant signifies the “end to education earmarks.” However, those “earmarks” are actually statutory requirements under ESSA that were agreed to by a bipartisan Congress. Among its many cuts, the proposal also eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Special education funding was largely untouched in the ED budget. Aside from a $100 million increase (equal to less than one percent) to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all programs authorized under the IDEA were level funded. With diminishing spending power from year to year, level funding equates to a cut roughly equal in size to the inflation rate.

The funding table below shows CEC’s top budget priorities.


The release of the Administration’s budget marks the beginning of the appropriations process on Capitol Hill. Over the next few months, appropriators will hear from Administration officials, stakeholders and their colleagues about priorities for FY 2021. They will then draft legislation to fund the government for next fiscal year.

To view the FY 2021 budget for the U.S. Department of Education, go here.

To send a letter to your congressional delegation and lend your voice in support of public education funding, go here.

Posted:  11 February, 2020

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