What the Trump Budget Means for Low-Income Schools

The president’s 2018 budget proposal, cuts $3.6 trillion over 10 years, and the majority of cuts target programs that support America’s families and communities by providing access to the building blocks that sustain well-being and enable people to achieve their full potential. Education is no exception.

The budget proposal included the following, among other, cuts to education spending:

  • Supporting Effective Instruction State grants program, a program that supports teacher training and class-size reduction, sees a $2.3 billion cut.
  • Eliminating funding for 21st Century Learning Centers, a program that provides funding for community learning centers that offer academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities for children, particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. This program is also intended to offer students a broad array of activities and to include families and the community in the educational process.

Potential Impact of School Choice

In addition to policy changes, the Department of Education has been majorly altered with the appointment of Betsy DeVoss, a school choice proponent, and the election of President Trump, who claimed on the campaign trail that he would to eliminate the federal department of education.
In addition to cutting programs that allow for community partners to engage with local public schools, the president’s budget proposes to redistribute how Title I money flows to schools.

Title I is the biggest K-12 federal education program, and it supports high-poverty schools. Under Trump's budget, regular Title I funding would be flat, but an additional $1 billion more would be dedicated to a new grant program for states that allows poor students to leave neighborhood schools for other public schools, and take that extra money with them. This concept is known as "portability," and it is often controversial because it means redistributing funds form poorer schools and districts into potentially wealthier ones. The students who can’t travel to and from different neighborhoods or districts each day could end up in an education setting even more in resource despair.

In addition, $250 million would go to create vouchers for private schools and $167 million for charter schools.

Opportunities to Get Involved

At the Innovation Design Summit: Accelerating Education Achievement for All Children, participants will work together to research, generate ideas, and test and refine solutions for education using, in part, examinations of the pertinent federal policy implications.

Learn more and register online for the event to be held Oct. 18-20 in Chicago.

Stay informed on critical policy issues and current action alerts by subscribing to the weekly Alliance Policy Radar email update.

Date Posted: 
Wed, 14 Jun 2017

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