Trump FY 2018 Budget Proposal: A Threat to Students, Teachers & Quality Public Education

Today, the White House released President Trump’s initial budget proposal for FY 2018. By cutting $9 billion – or 13% – from federal education spending, the Administration’s budget proposal undermines public education and fails to support our nation’s students and teachers.

Read a statement by Mimi Corcoran, NCLD CEO & President, on the Administration’s Budget Proposal.

What the budget shows

The budget released today is known as “the skinny budget” because it gives only a high-level overview of changes to the budget and lacks details about exactly how money will be allocated.

In May, the Trump Administration is expected to release a more detailed budget proposal.  But in the meantime, we  know that the Department of Education would suffer $9 billion in funding cuts, if President Trump’s budget is passed by Congress.

How the Budget Impact Students with Learning & Attention Issues

The budget proposes changes to several key programs that impact students with learning and attention issues in every school. These include:

  • Offering no additional funding for IDEA.  Despite the dire need to invest more in special education, the Administration’s budget proposes to keep IDEA funding at approximately the same level as last year – $13 billion.
  • Eliminating $2.4 billion in teacher training & class size reduction efforts. The Administration’s budget eliminates the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, which provides valuable funding to reduce class size and provide professional development for educators to help them better support and serve all students.
  • Eliminating $1.2 billion in before-and-after school programs. The Administration’s budget eliminates the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before-and after-school programs, summer programs, and academic enrichment for students
  • Redirecting $1.4 billion in public funding to school choice, including private school vouchers. The Administration’s budget redirects funding from traditional public schools to support a $168 million increase for charter schools, $250 million for a new private school voucher program, and $1 billion within Title I of ESSA that can be used for students to attend the school of their choice.
  • Eliminating more than 20 other programs for students and teachers. Many additional programs would be eliminated or cut under the Administration’s budget, including the Striving Readers literacy grant program and the Teacher Quality Partnership program which offers residency programs to better prepare teachers before they begin their careers.

Even though this budget doesn’t touch on every program and is missing some key details, it’s enough to know that our children and our schools are in trouble. It’s clear – just from the top-line numbers that have been released – where the administration’s priorities lie and its view on public education. This budget does not prioritize the needs of our nation’s teachers and is far from one that will offer a quality education for all students.

What to expect next

You can think of the budget process as following a few key steps. Each year, the first step is for the President to release his budget, and it typically happens in the winter, or in the first few months of the year. Then, both the House and Senate will each release their own budget and identify their priority programs, and it usually happens in the spring or summer. Finally, based on these different, competing priorities, Congress must come to an agreement about what to fund and must pass a law to make that happen. This final step usually happens at the end of summer or in early fall.

How you can get involved

Now – the very beginning of this process – is a critical time to take action. Parents and educators have an opportunity to shape the process from here forward. Advocates can let their members of Congress know what is most important to them and ensure those priorities are reflected in the budget.

It’s time that we – parents, educators, and advocates together – speak out to fight for what our children need and deserve.  Take action now and tell your member of Congress that they must invest in students – our future depends on it.

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