The President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released: America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again. The Budget Blueprint provides an overview of the President’s budget priorities for fiscal year 2018.
With respect to education overall, the Budget Blueprint proposes $59 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). This would represent a $9 billion (or 13%) reduction from the current funding level. Among the few proposed increases in the face of such massive cuts are measures to promote school choice at the K-12 level.
Some of the more specific proposals in President Trump’s Budget Blueprint that would impact K-12 education include the following:
- Increasing investments in public and private school choice by $1.4 billion;
- Increasing investment of $168 million for charter schools;
- Providing $250 million for a new private school choice program;
- Increasing Title I funds by $1 billion, dedicated to encouraging districts to adopt student-based budgeting and school choice;
- Eliminating $2.4 billion for Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants; and
- Eliminating $1.2 billion in funds dedicated to 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which supports before- and after-school programs, as well as summer programs for at-risk students.
The Budget Blueprint suggests that the Trump Administration’s focus is on “supporting states and school districts in their efforts to provide high quality education to all our students.” The Administration says that it hopes to place “power in the hands of parents and families to choose schools that are best for their children.” The reasons provided for the proposed budget reductions are related to lowering costs to taxpayers, reducing funding for “ineffective” programs, and eliminating programs that purportedly do not serve the educational needs of the United States.