What could a Trump education budget look like?

Andrew Ujifusa of Education Week has an interesting look ahead into the federal budgeting process — and what to expect from President Trump’s first budget for K-12.

The short answer, predictably enough: It’s too early to tell.

We know this much. Last week, Trump said he would propose boosting defense spending by $54 billion in 2017-18. That could necessitate a 10 percent cut in domestic agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education, Ujifusa reports.

And what would a 10 percent budget cut look like?

“The current discretionary-spending budget for the Department of Education is $68.1 billion, and the single biggest budget item included in that amount are Pell Grants for low-income students attending college, totaling $22.5 billion,” Ujifusa writes. “The biggest program by dollar amount at the department related to K-12 public schools is Title I, designated for disadvantaged students, at $14.9 billion. A 10 percent cut would bring the department’s discretionary spending down to roughly $61.3 billion. That would mark its lowest level since fiscal 2008, when discretionary spending at the department was set at $59.2 billion.”

Now to a few Idaho numbers.

  • Idaho received $264.3 million in federal money for K-12 in 2016-17.
  • The bulk of this money, $249.1 million, goes into the “children’s programs” portion of the K-12 budget. And much of that money, in turn, supports programs for at-risk or special-needs students.
  • When the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee drew up 2017-18 K-12 budget proposals last week, budget-writers assumed federal funding would remain unchanged. But a 10 percent budget cut could mean a $26.4 million drop in federal funding for K-12.

More reading: With the turbulent transition in the White House, the 2017 legislative session becomes the “wait-and-see” session.

 

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at krichert@idahoednews.org

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