The Trump education budget proposal: What we know so far

Tuesday is the day President Trump fleshes out his “skinny” budget proposal.

The White House will release its full budget proposal for 2017-18. But when it comes to education, Trump spelled out the basics in mid-March.

The skinny budget proposal — a framework of the larger budget proposal due Tuesday — would slice the U.S. Department of Education budget by $9 billion, a 13 percent cut.

The White House outlined the biggest cuts in March’s skinny budget. Trump wants to eliminate Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, a $2.4 billion program that helps schools train teachers or reduce class sizes; and 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a $1.2 billion initiative that pays for before- and after-school and summer school programs. (Last week, Washington Post previewed the pending budget release, and reported in more detail about the prospective budget cuts.)

So we know, in some detail, what Trump hopes to cut. And we know that Trump wants to make a fundamental shift in the way the feds spend the remaining $59 billion in the Education Department budget.

Trump proposes siphoning $1.4 billion into several school choice initiatives. For example, he proposes a $1 billion increase in Title I, a program to support high-poverty schools, but wants the money shifted into open-enrollment initiatives.

However, the mechanics of this program remain unclear. (More about this, and other unanswered budget questions, from Andrew Ujifusa of Education Week.)

One big question, of course, is how these proposals will play in Congress. When lawmakers passed a 2017-18 budget stopgap earlier this month, they provided a few clues. Congress did cut the Supporting Effective Instruction grants, but hardly zeroed them out, and actually gave the 21st Century program a $25 million spending boost.

Check back Tuesday for more about the Trump budget proposal.




Kevin Richert

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 "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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