Budget Deal for Funding Federal Programs Ignores Trump’s Requests for Deep Cuts and School Choice

This is funny. The Republicans control both houses of Congress. Trump asked them to slash the federal education budget by billions and to create a multi-billion fund to support school choice. The new budget for education ignores both requests.

According to Education Week, there will be increases for Title I and special education. There will be no new spending on school choice.

The only federal program that takes a budget hit is Title II, which helps keep down class sizes.

Lawmakers appear to be sending early signals of independence from the Trump administration on education budget issues. For example, in the fiscal 2018 budget proposal Turmp released several weeks ago, the president also sought to eliminate just over $1 billion in support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers in fiscal 2018. However, this budget deal for fiscal 2017 would give the program a relatively small boost of $25 million up to nearly $1.2 billion. Trump had also wanted to cut Title II funding in half in fiscal 2017, far more than this agreement, before eliminating it entirely in fiscal 2018.

And programs designed to serve needy students like TRIO and GEAR UP would also get small increases in this fiscal 2017 deal. Several of Trump’s proposed fiscal 2017 cuts were to programs that had already been consolidated under ESSA.

The budget deal doesn’t appear to include a new federal school choice program, a top K-12 priority for the Trump administration, although Trump’s request for such a program appears in his fiscal 2018 proposal and not his fiscal 2017 blueprint.

The budget deal also includes an increase (instead of elimination) for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

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