College funding, school safety and school choice are items addressed in the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, which department officials shared with media in a conference call Monday morning.
The Trump administration’s proposal provides $131 billion in new post-secondary grants, loans and work-study and includes $64 billion in discretionary spending, a 10-percent reduction from the prior year. It includes recommended decreases, increases and unchanged or “level funding” throughout.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Some of the budget proposal’s highlights are:
· Fully funding a request for state grants under Perkins and expanding pre-apprentice programs; asking Congress to expand Pell Grants to include short-term, high-quality programs; reducing federal work-study while it is reformed with an eye toward career-readiness; and consolidating income-based federal student loan repayment plans into one with a monthly payment of 12.5 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income.
· Promoting career and technical education (CTE) in community colleges, technical schools and high schools with $1.3 billion, in addition to an increase to $20 million to enhance state CTE programs.
· Funding school-choice options, including $500 million for expanding public charter schools and $107 million for magnet schools.
· Promoting school safety and student protection with $200 million in grants for efforts such as development of emergency operation plans; implementing evidence-based practices for improving behavioral outcomes; and counseling and emotional support in schools with pervasive violence.
· Promoting teacher success and educational innovation with $200 million in incentive grants to improve teacher induction and reward teaching excellence, $200 million for vouchers that promote teacher choice about professional development and $100 million for projects that promote reform and innovation in STEM education.
· Maintain current level of funding for various programs that serve high-need students, including $737.4 million in English language Acquisition formula grants, $13.2 billion for IDEA grants to states for special education and early intervention programs for children with disabilities and $15.9 billion in Title I grants to support students in high-poverty schools.
· Cutting $6.7 billion by eliminating 29 programs deemed ineffective, duplicative, irrelevant to national needs or “more appropriately supported with state, local, or private funds.”
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who did not participate in the call, said in a news release that the proposed budget “at its core is about education freedom — freedom for America’s students to pursue their life-long learning journeys in the ways and places that work best for them” and freedom “to develop their talents and pursue their passions” through “freedom from the top-down ‘Washington knows best’ approach that has proven ineffective and even harmful to students.”
DeVos added that the budget reflects the White House’s “continued commitment to ensuring our nation’s students are safe at school. While there is no one-size-fits all solution to preventing school violence, the administration’s proposal ensures states and local leaders have the resources they need to develop their own safety plans. We have also reaffirmed our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating or eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs.”
The administration’s budget proposal is a list of recommendations that the Senate and House of Representatives can consider as they debate and pass federal budget legislation.