Friday, February 18, 2011

All Eyes on Education: Obama’s 2012 Education Budget

Obama’s 2012 budget provides the U.S. Department of Education with a $77.4 billion education budget, a significant increase from the investments made in the FY 2011 budget proposal to support educational opportunities for children. Remaining true to the administration’s commitment to cradle to career solutions, Promise Neighborhoods received a budget request of $150 million, a $140 million boost over current funding levels.  

Below is a list of additional education budget priorities that we believe are of particular interest to the communities we serve:

21st Century Community Learning Centers-$1.3 billion to support competitive grants and other activities to assist States, LEAs, non-profit organizations or local governmental entities in operating 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA-ED)-$90 million to support a new initiative that would pursue breakthrough developments in education technology, including improvement s in learning systems and support systems for educators.

Career and Technical Education-$1 billion to support continued improvement and upgrading of Career and Technical Education programs as part of a strategy for creating career pathways at the secondary and postsecondary levels to help students enter the workforce ready for successful careers.

Early Learning Challenge Fund-$350 million to support competitive grants to States to establish model systems of early learning for children from birth to kindergarten entry that promote high standards of quality and a focus on outcomes across settings to ensure that more children enter school ready to succeed.

Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (First in the World Competition) -$123 million to support a broad range of postsecondary reform and improvement projects. The majority of funds in 2012 would support the First in the World competition, which would be modeled after the Investing in Innovation (i3) program for K-12.

GEAR UP-$323 million to support this discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Investing in Innovation Fund -$300 million to support grants to LEAs or to nonprofit organizations in consortium with one or more schools or LEAs to develop and expand innovative strategies and practices that have been shown to be effective in improving educational outcomes for students. A portion of the funds would be used for technical assistance, dissemination, prize awards, social impact bonds, and other national activities.

Pell Grants- 28.6 billion in funding appropriation for fiscal year 2012, up from 17.5 billion in fiscal year 2010. Previously, the administration proposed to fund Pell Grant as an entitlement, removing it from the annual appropriations process and funding it through mandatory spending. In 2012, the administration has decided to fund the program through a maximum annual Pell grant award of $5,550 that rises with inflation starting in 2013 funded through appropriations and a mandatory formula.

Race to the Top-$900 million to support grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) to create incentives for State and local reforms and innovations designed to lead to significant improvements in student achievement, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment rates, and to significant reductions in achievement gaps. The new competition would place a particular focus on cost-effective reforms that improve student achievement in an era of tight budgets and allow school districts to compete directly for funds.

School Improvement (Turnaround) Grants-$600 million to support the reauthorized School Turnaround Grants (currently school improvement grants) program. This program would play a critical role in the new Title I statewide accountability systems that would be created under the Administration’s ESEA reauthorization plan by providing significant resources for LEAS to implement rigorous school intervention models in their lowest-performing schools.

Special Education-$11.7 billion to support the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), Part B. This is a $200 million increase to support special education grants to states. IDEA Part C, will receive a $50 million increase for grants for infants and families.

Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund-$500 million to support competitive grants to States and LEAs willing to implement bold approaches to improving the effectiveness of the education workforce in high-need schools and districts by creating the conditions needed to identify, reward, retain, and advance effective teachers, principals, and school leadership teams in those schools, and enabling schools to build the strongest teams possible.

Title I, Part A “College and Career Ready Students” Program -$14.8 billion to support Title I, Part A grants to local education agencies (LEAs), $200 million more than in fiscal year 2010 and the current 2011 Continuing Resolution. The program now incorporates Title I Rewards, which is a $300 million fund to support schools that are making progress in boosting student achievement. The budget makes changes to the Title I program in terms of how schools are assessed. For instance, “adequate yearly progress” would be replaced by school performance measures based on student achievement.

TRIO College Access-$920 million to support the Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) which includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

The President’s Budget eliminates 13 discretionary programs and consolidates 38 K-12 programs into 11 new programs that emphasize using competition to allocate funds, giving communities more choices around activities, and using rigorous evidence to fund what works.However, the President's proposed 2012 education budget starkly contrasts with the bill introduced by House Republican leaders Friday night. The GOP education budget for FY2011 would cut $4.9 billion from the U.S. Department of Education's budget. Pell Grants and special education programs would also be substantially cut. 


Department of Education Budget, Office of Management and Budget

Federal Budget Blog Posts, Investing in Community Change

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