- A new initiative called "Stronger Together," proposed by the Obama administration and incorporated into the president's 2017 budget, contains a $120 million competitive grant program aimed at helping schools make strides in combatting socioeconomic segregation.
- Acting Secretary of Education John King Jr. has said that diversity in U.S. schools is one of his top priorities, and his predecessor, Arne Duncan, expressed discontent at not being able to do more on the issue over the last seven years.
- The budget proposal also earmarks $75 billion to expand pre-K access and $4 billion for President Obama's "Computer Science for All" initiative.
The full budget proposal is a meaty document to wade through, and a summary can be found here. Notable for districts is its call for expanded access to early childhood education for a projected 1.1 million additional children under age four by 2026, childcare credits for working families, lengthening HeadStart and increasing its funding allocation by $434 million, a Preschool for All initiative, $4 billion in mandatory funding for the new Computer Science for All initiative, and funding a program called America's College Promise that aims to provide free community college for "responsible" students.
The CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Brian Lewis, has already expressed discontent at the amount of Title IV funding that is allocated to support ed tech under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
"We’re truly disappointed in the White House’s decision to request fiscal year 2017 funding of only $500 million in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Title IV flexible block grant that supports, among other things, the effective use of ed tech," Lewis said in a press release issued Tuesday, calling the shift "puzzling."
He also claimed that the reduction in Title IV money will lead to a reduced annual cap for federal E-Rate money, suggesting that the scaled-back amount undercut Obama's computer science and coding initiatives.
Still, those numbers could all change for better or worse once the Republican-controlled Congress negotiates its own proposal.