On February 12, President Trump released his FY 2019 budget request. While the president’s budget is most likely not going to be enacted by Congress, it is still an important document that allows him to highlight the administration’s spending priorities moving forward. Unfortunately, President Trump’s budget called for drastic reductions in nondefense discretionary programs despite Congress recently passing a deal to raise the budget caps. Trump called for the Department of Education (ED) to receive $63.2 billion in FY 2019. This is a $3.6 billion—or 5.4 percent—cut from the amount ED received in FY 2017.
What follows is an analysis of how some of NASSP’s top priorities faired in Trump’s budget request. Regrettably, many of the programs that greatly benefit students and educators have been cut or eliminated.
Programs Eliminated in Trump’s FY 2019 Budget
- Title II—Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants: Just as in his FY 2018 budget, Trump’s FY 2019 budget would completely eliminate Title II. This program is used to recruit, retain, and train teachers, principals, and other school leaders. The program received $2.1 billion in FY 2017, and was authorized at $2.295 billion in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
- Student Leader Recruitment and Support Program (SLRSP): SLRSP offers competitive grants to help districts recruit, mentor, and train principals and assistant principals to serve in high-need schools. SLRSP received $15 million in FY 2017.
- Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants: These grants were created to provide a comprehensive literacy program to advance literacy skills—including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing—for students from birth through grade 12, including limited-English-proficient students and students with disabilities. The program received $19 million in FY 2017.
- Title IV—Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: Title IV, newly created in ESSA, is designed to ensure that high-needs districts have access to programs that foster safe and healthy students, provide a well-rounded education, and increase the effective use of technology in our nation’s schools. Although the program was authorized at $1.65 billion in ESSA, it received only $400 million in FY 2017.
Other Important Areas
- Opportunity Grants: Trump called for an increase of $1 billion in his budget for public and private voucher programs called Opportunity Grants. NASSP remains strongly opposed to vouchers of any kind and is deeply disappointed that President Trump would support funding for voucher programs while calling for cuts to programs that strengthen our nation’s public education system.
- Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA): IDEA ensures free, appropriate public education as well as special education and other related services for children with disabilities. Trump’s FY 2019 budget would fund IDEA at the same amount it received in FY 2017, $12.8 billion. Unfortunately, this level is still far below the amount that is owed to the program by the federal government.
- Title I: Title I provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. In his budget, Trump funded Title I at its FY 2017 level of $15.46 billion.
Overall, the president’s FY 2019 budget would be detrimental to our nation’s education system. That said, Congress has not even completed the FY 2018 budget process yet, and has until March 23 to do so. NASSP highly recommends that you use what time is left in the FY 2018 budget process to contact your members of Congress and convince them to support increased education funding that will aid our nation’s students and educators.