- Instructions sent to Congressional budget appropriators from the White House late last week call for almost $3 billion in cuts to education funding over the final five months of the current fiscal year after the stopgap spending bill ends on April 28.
- Politico reports that the cuts include $1.3 billion from the Pell program's $10.6 billion surplus, amid outcry from student aid advocates and Democrats over attempts to "raid" those funds, as well as the Title II Part A program aimed at boosting teacher and principal quality, and additional cuts to a number of agencies that impact education, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, NASA, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and State Department educational and cultural exchange programs.
- Several grant programs eliminated by the Every Student Succeeds Act and replaced by a new large state block grant for support and enrichment activities are also slated for early elimination under the proposed cuts.
Much of these latest recommended education cuts aren't likely to take hold, as Politico suggests appropriators are likely to shoot down cuts to programs they see as essential — but this round of proposed reductions comes in the wake of a budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 that calls for $9.2 billion to be slashed from the U.S. Department of Education.
While it would eliminate the $732 million Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program and cut $200 million from the TRIO and GEARUP programs, which help promote college preparedness for disadvantaged students, that budget also suggests allocating $1.4 billion to promote school choice via charter expansion and private school vouchers, as well as an additional $1 billion for Title I funding. But it would also leave intact a $13 billion program to support students with disabilities, as well as funding for historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions.
With the Every Student Succeeds Act returning more decision-making power to states, it may also fall on states to pick up some of the funding slack if much of the K-12 proposals materialize, and several may already be on their way to raising commitments to higher ed amid decreased federal attention in that area..