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.