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The Trump Administration is proposing to eliminate many K-12 education programs in their first full budget for fiscal 2018. The administration wants to make $10.6 billion in cuts in federal education initiatives and to reinvest part of the savings into efforts to promote school choice. There are 22 programs that are set for the chopping block if the budget proposal goes through. Here is the list as found on the Department of Education website (pages 46-47).


Here is the list again

Programs Proposed for Elimination in FY 2018

(2017 BA in $ millions)

21st Century Community Learning Centers: 1,164.5

Alaska Native Education: 32.4

American History and Civics Academies: 1.8

Arts in Education: 26.9

Child Care Access Means Parents in School: 15.1

Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants/Striving Readers: 189.6

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: 731.7

Full-Service Community Schools: 10.0

Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property: 66.7

Innovative Approaches to Literacy: 26.9

International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic Programs: 65.0

International Education and Foreign Language Studies Overseas Programs: 7.0

Javits Gifted and Talented Education: 12.0

Native Hawaiian Education: 33.3

Preschool Development Grants: 249.5

Ready to Learn Programming: 25.7

School Leader Recruitment and Support: 16.3

Special Olympics Education Programs: 10.1

Strengthening Institutions: 86.4

Supported Employment State Grants: 27.5

Supporting Effective Instruction States Grants: 2,251.6

Teacher Quality Partnerships: 43.0

Total: $5,093.1

The proposed discretionary programs headed for elimination would purportedly save $5.9 billion, based on the document. 

This budget also eliminates $400 million funding for a program in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) known as Title IV, meant for academic enrichment and student support. Also cut would be $1.2 billion for after-school programs that serve 1.6 million children, most of whom are poor, and $2.1 billion for teacher training and class-size reduction.

According to the proposal, all these cuts are justified as these programs “achieved their original purpose, duplicate other programs, are narrowly focused, or are unable to demonstrate effectiveness.” The $10.6 billion in cuts the administration wants to make in federal education initiatives are aimed at reinvesting part of the savings into efforts to promote school choice. 

The proposed cuts in these programs — and the simultaneous new investment in alternatives to traditional public schools like charter schools — are a sign of the Trump administration’s belief that federal efforts to improve education have failed. By far the biggest proponent of school choice is the now Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is now leading the Department of Education which she views as an impediment to progress! Also by allowing Title I dollars to follow the student — known as “portability” — a controversial idea that many critics of the proposal argue will be the first step toward private-school vouchers and would siphon dollars from schools with high poverty to those in more affluent neighborhoods.

At any rate, the United States Congress is in charge of passing appropriations bills. The cuts are still in review and Congress will surely make several changes to the proposal and the final educational budget cuts should be quite different.

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