[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on May 22nd of this year, was our #2 most popular story of the year. Happy holidays, and thank you for tuning into our 2017 countdown!]
If “near-final” documents obtained by The Washington Post are true, education would see deep cuts to the tune of more than $10 billion under President Donald Trump’s education budget. The budget is set to be released as early as Tuesday.
The Washington Post reports that funding for federal K-12 and higher-education initiatives and programs would vanish or be redirected.
The education budget documents indicate that the administration would direct some of the savings from large cuts to various programs to school choice programs instead.
“Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives,” Emma Brown, Valerie Strauss and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel wrote in the May 17 article.
As talk about department cuts and a focus on school choice ramp up, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to reveal more details about the administration’s focus on school choice during her speech at The American Federation of Children summit. DeVos is the the former chairwoman of the organization, which supports tax credit scholarships and vouchers.
(Next page: 5 ways the budget would impact education, students)
1. School choice: The administration would spend about $400 million to increase charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, according to the article. Another $1 billion would encourage public schools to embrace “choice-friendly policies.”
2. Title I: Trump’s education budget would direct $1 billion in Title I funding to a grant program that lets students choose which public school they attend, meaning their federal, state and local dollars follow them. The fund, according to The Washington Post, aims to “do away with neighborhood attendance zones that the administration says trap needy kids in struggling schools.”
3. Public Student Loan Forgiveness: This program could become a thing of the past under the new education budget. Trump has alluded to this before in campaign speeches, and as Money notes, the first group of borrowers under the program, created under President George W. Bush in 2007, will be eligible for loan forgiveness this year.
4. Student support and enrichment: As The Washington Post article outlines, the administration would allocate no funding to help schools pay for mental health and anti-bullying services, Advanced Placement courses, and more. The fund, which was created by Congress and totaled $400 million this year, would be zeroed out in the next fiscal year.
5. HBCUs: Despite Trump’s high-profile meetings with HBCU leaders, those institutions would not receive additional dollars, and funding levels would remain the same.