Education has been making front page news of late about everything from striking teachers and standardized testing to Education Secretary DeVos and charter schools. And behind many of the headlines, is the question of money. Here, then, is a brief rundown of President Trump’s fiscal 2020 U.S. Department of Education’s proposed budget, which seeks…

  • A 10% cut to the department’s funding from $71.5 billion to $64 billion, a $7.1 billion cut;
  • The elimination of $2.1 billion teacher development under Title II;
  • To also cut $1.2 billion in Title IV academic supports and enrichment funding, as well s $1.1 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers supporting after-school programs.

In fact, Trump is reportedly axing 29 programs from the federal budget.

That, then, begs the question: Who/what is getting funded? On that list, there’s…

  1. $500 million earmarked for federal charter school grants, up $60 million from today’s numbers.
  2. $200 million for the School Safety National Activities program, up from $95 million now, with $100 million of it goes to a new School Safety State Formula Grant program.
  3. The unchanged funding of $125 million for the Office of Civil Rights.
  4. $300 million for the Education Innovation and Research, up $170 million from fiscal 2019. Of that figure, $200 million is slated to “test the impact of teacher development vouchers, along with $100 million for innovative STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) grants.
  5. $50 million for a Title I pilot program for districts “to create and use weighted student-funding formulas” to help direct monies directly to disadvantaged and special needs students.
  6. A $30 million boost for the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarships Program, which provides vouchers to D.C. students.

As for Title I for disadvantaged students, the largest public school funding program, it remains unchanged at $15.9 billion.

No increases either in the $13.2 billion for Special Education grants to states or the $737.4 million to the English Language Acquisition Formula Grants Program.

Oh, and by the way, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed a $5 billion school choice, national tax credit scholarship program that would enable parents to send their children to a public or private K-12 school of their choosing.