Education Week - April 11, 2018 - 16
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Trump Fails in Push
To Slash Ed. Budget
Final spending levels top previous year's
By Andrew Ujifusa
President Donald Trump has
pledged in the past to either eliminate or dramatically scale back the
U.S. Department of Education-but
he's ended up signing a spending
bill that increases the department's
budget to the largest number in its
The new spending level approved
by Congress, after months of delay,
amounts to a broad rejection of the
more-austere budget proposal released last year by Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The president and the secretary
sought to eliminate some department programs and cut back others,
and create two new major school
The fiscal 2018 spending bill
Trump signed into law last month
includes a $2.6 billion increase for
the Education Department over
fiscal 2017 levels. Included in the
new budget for the department is
a $300 million increase for Title I,
the federal program earmarked for
students from low-income backgrounds, up to $15.8 billion, as well
as increases for programs dealing
with students with disabilities and
for career and technical education.
Included in the newly
approved fiscal 2018
budget: more money
for programs dealing
with poor children,
those with disabilities,
and career and
In addition, the budget preserves
a $2.1 billion program for educator development, which the Trump
administration's fiscal 2018 budget
request had proposed eliminating.
Funding for after-school and a Title
IV block grant that the Trump budget also sought to eliminate was increased as well.
Many programs have ended up
with more money to spend in fiscal
2018 than the previous year. In fact,
just one K-12 program run by DeVos'
department was cut in the new budget: the $14.5 million School Leader
Recruitment and Support program
that helps districts train and retain
principals and assistant principals.
The program's funding was eliminated for this fiscal year.
And the budget left out a $250 million proposal from Trump and DeVos
to support states' private school
choice programs, as well as a $1
million pitch to launch an initiative
boosting public school choice under
Title I. Lawmakers did agree to boost
charter school funding, another request from the Trump team, although
their $58 million increase, up to
$400 million, fell well short of the administration's request for $500 million.
Record Funding-on Paper
Overall, the Education Department will receive $70.9 billion for
the fiscal year, which will fund programs for the 2018-19 school year.
That's the largest single-year discretionary budget in the department's
nearly 40-year history, although it
lags behind the fiscal 2011 budget
of $68.3 billion after adjusting for
inflation-in order to match that
budget for fiscal 2018, the department would have needed a budget
of $77.2 billion.
By contrast, the Trump administration's proposal would have cut
the department's available pot of
money by $9.2 billion, a 13.6 percent reduction from the fiscal 2017
Capitol Hill also shot down an attempt by DeVos to reorganize the
budget-service section of her department, as part of her efforts to
streamline her agency. The spending bill signed by Trump explicitly
prohibited her from decentralizing
or cutting staff for budget service.
The bill also included the STOP
School Violence Act, which will support crisis-intervention efforts, as
well as anonymous systems for reporting potential threats and safetyinfrastructure upgrades. Introduced
earlier this year in Congress, the
measure picked up bipartisan support after the shooting in February
at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17
students and staff members dead.
Even as they approved the STOP
Act, however, lawmakers decided
to end the Comprehensive School
Safety Initiative. This Department
of Justice program backed research
into evidence-based school safety
programs, from bullying to school
policing. It was established after
the 2012 killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The $75 million for the research
initiative appropriated for fiscal
2017 has instead been applied to
the STOP Act.
In addition, districts can use the
$1.1 billion in Title IV grant funding
for programs related to school safety
and students' mental health.
16 | EDUCATION WEEK | April 11, 2018 | www.edweek.org
FISCAL YEAR 2018
This chart outlines which key Education
Department and other programs are
getting more, less, or the same amount
of money in fiscal year 2018 compared
to fiscal 2017.
SOURCE: Education Week