President Donald Trump released his full budget today. Looking at the budget for the U.S. Department of Education we see it eliminates 20 programs within the U.S. Department of Education related to PreK-12 education. Trump cuts $9.2 billion from the Department’s budget which is a 13.5 percent reduction from the estimated FY 2017 annualized continuing resolutions.

It’s a start, but unfortunately, I’m sure the bleeding hearts in Congress will work to add some of this back in because of “the kids.” Liberals are already freaking out, especially over some of the cuts pertaining to student loans which I’m not addressing here.

“The budget also reflects a series of tough choices we have had to make when assessing the best use of taxpayer money. It ensures funding for programs with proven results for students while taking a hard look at programs that sound nice but simply haven’t yielded the desired outcomes,” U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, said in a released statement. “By refocusing the Department’s funding priorities on supporting students, we can usher in a new era of creativity and ingenuity and lay a new foundation for American greatness.”

Below are the programs, the amount of money cut from the budget eliminating the program reflects, and the administration’s justification for eliminating the program.

1. 21st Century Learning Centers (- $1,164,500,000)

The 21st CCLC program enables communities to establish or expand centers that provide additional student learning opportunities through before- and after-school programs, and summer school programs, aimed at improving student academic outcomes. While limited evaluation and survey data from certain States and individual centers highlights benefits from participation, such as improved behavior and classroom grades, overall program performance data show that the 21st CCLC is not achieving its goal of helping students, particularly those who attend low-performing schools, meet challenging State academic standards. For example, on average from 2013 to 2015, less than 20 percent of program participants improved from not proficient to proficient or above on State assessments in reading and mathematics. Additionally, student improvement in academic grades was limited, with States reporting higher math and English grades for less than half of regular program participants. Low attendance rates at the program’s centers likely are a key explanation for the program’s limited impact on academic outcomes. For example, States reported that fewer than half of all students served (752,000 out of 1.8 million) attended programs for 30 days or more during the 2014-2015 school year. These recent results are consistent with findings of the last rigorous national evaluation of the program, conducted in 2005, which also found the program had limited academic impact and low student attendance rates.

These data strongly suggest that the 21st CCLC is not generating the benefits commensurate with an annual investment of more than $1 billion in limited Federal education funds. Moreover, the provision of before- and after-school academic enrichment opportunities may be better supported with other Federal, State, local or private funds, including the $15 billion Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies program.

2. Alaska Native Education (- $32,400,000)

This program makes formula grants to States, which award local subgrants to support before, after, and summer school programs that provide safe spaces and opportunities for academic enrichment for nearly 2 million students at roughly 11,500 centers.  This program lacks strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improving student achievement.

3. American History and Civics Academies (- $1,800,000)

This program supports efforts to improve the quality of American history and civics education through grants for intensive workshops for teachers and students and for evidence-based instructional methods and professional development programs.  The program has limited impact, with American History and Civics Academies grants reaching only a small number of teachers and students. (Each academy may serve no more than 300 teachers or students annually.)

4. Arts in Education (- $26,900,000)

This program supports arts education projects and programs for children and youth, with special emphasis on serving students from low-income families and students with disabilities.  Arts in Education has limited impact and funds activities that are more appropriately supported with other Federal, State, local, and private funds.

5. Child Care Access Means Parents in School (- $15,100,000)

The CCAMPIS program subsidizes campus-based child care services for low-income parents in postsecondary education programs.  While the CCAMPIS program provides an important service that benefits low-income student parents, subsidizing expenses associated with child care is not consist with the Department’s core mission.  The Administration maintains funding for existing child care programs within the Department of Health and Human Services.

6. Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants (- $189,600,000)

The Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants program makes competitive awards to States to improve literacy instruction from birth through grade 12. The program has limited impact and duplicates activities that may be supported by other sources of both Federal and non-Federal funds. For example, the Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies program provides over $15 billion to more than 14,000 school districts that may be used to support effective, evidence-based reading instruction. By comparison, the last cohort of Striving Readers grants served only six States and just a handful of districts in each State. Moreover, a 2015 study by the Institute of Education Sciences indicated that a majority (six out of ten) of the interventions implemented by the 2009 and 2006 grant cohorts had no discernible effects on reading achievement.  States or school districts that want to test or expand the use of evidence-based literacy instruction may seek funding under the Education Innovation and Research program, which provides grant awards for scaling up effective practices that are comparable in size to those available through the Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants program.

7. Full Service Community Schools (-$10,000,000)

This program supports projects that involve a school as the locus for the provision of comprehensive academic, social, and health services that respond to the needs of students, their families, and community members.  The program has limited impact and largely duplicates activities that are more appropriately supported through other Federal, State, local, and private funds.

8. Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property (- $66,700,000)

The primary purpose of the Impact Aid program is to help pay for the education of federally-connected children, and fund programs that serve federally-connected children. The Payments for Federal Property program compensates school districts for lost property tax revenue due to the presence of Federal lands without regard to whether those districts educate any federally-connected children as a result of the Federal presence. When this authority was established in 1950, its purpose was to provide assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) in cases where the Federal Government had imposed a substantial and continuing burden by acquiring a considerable portion of real property in the LEA. The law applied only to property acquired since 1938 because, in general, LEAs had been able to adjust to acquisitions that occurred before that time. The Administration believes that the majority of LEAs receiving assistance under this program have now had sufficient time to adjust to the removal of the property from their tax rolls.

9. Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program (- $26,900,000)

This program makes competitive grants to improve literacy through support of school libraries, professional development for school librarians, and the provision of high-quality books to children and adolescents in low-income communities.  School districts and schools that choose to focus on libraries and the provision of free books as part of their early literacy strategies may use Title I funds for this purpose.

10 and 11. International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic and Overseas Programs (- $72,000,000)

While the Administration recognizes the critical need for our Nation to have a readily available pool of international, regional, and advanced language experts for economic, foreign affairs, and national security purposes, it is unclear that this goal is consistent with the Department of Education’s core mission. Other Federal agencies, whose primary mission is national security, implement similar programs and are better equipped to support this critical objective. Therefore, the Budget proposes to eliminate these duplicative programs. The authorization for these programs expired in 2014.

12. Javits Gifted and Talented Education (- $12,000,000)

This program supports research and other activities to build local capacity to identify gifted and talented students and meet their special educational needs.  Limited Federal education dollars should be focused on our most disadvantaged children, and programs for gifted and talented students can be supported with State, local, and private funds.

13. Native Hawaiian Education (- $33.300,000)

This program supports supplemental education services for a very high-need student population facing unique challenges in obtaining a high-quality education.  The program largely duplicates services that may be funded through the $127 million in other Federal elementary and secondary programs that support Hawaii as well as State, local, and private funds.

14. Preschool Development Grants (- $249,500,000)

The Preschool Development Grants competition supports State efforts to (1) build or enhance a preschool program infrastructure that would enable the delivery of high-quality preschool services to children, and (2) expand high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities that would serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families.  Note that this program was funded at the Department of Health and Human Services in FY 2017.

15. Ready to Learn Programming (- $25,700,000)

This program supports the development and dissemination of high-quality educational television programming.  The program is less relevant and necessary with the rise of the internet and the increasing number of private providers that create and disseminate programming, online games, and “apps” that are both educational and entertaining.

16. School Leader Recruitment and Support Program (- $16,300,000)

This program grants fund activities to improve the recruitment, preparation, placement, support, and retention of effective principals and other school leaders in high-need schools.  This small program has limited impact and effectiveness and duplicates other Federal funds that may be used to support local efforts to recruit, train, and retain effective school leaders.

17. Special Olympics Education Programs (-$10,100,000)

This program supports a directed grant award to a not-for-profit organization.  Funds are used to expand the Special Olympics and the design and implementation of Special Olympics education programs.  Such activities are better supported with other Federal, State, local, or private funds.

18. Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (- $277,000,000)

The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program, newly authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, consolidated four previously authorized programs: Mathematics and Science Partnerships, Advanced Placement, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, and Physical Education. The Program provides funding to school districts for activities that support well-rounded educational opportunities (e.g. arts, STEM), safe and healthy students, and the effective use of technology. Subgrants can be awarded by formula to all school districts that receive Title I, Part A funds, which at the current funding level of $400 million, would result in award amounts of less than $30,000 for the vast majority of school districts. The Administration does not believe limited Federal resources should be allocated to a program where many of its grants will likely be too small to have a meaningful impact. Furthermore, the school districts that do receive at least $30,000 must follow funding restrictions that prescribe a minimum amount that must be spent on the program’s different categories of activities, further diluting the program’s impact and removing discretion that is best left to local decision-makers. Also, the activities authorized under this program generally can be supported with funds from other Federal, State, local, and private sources, including similarly flexible funds provided under the $15 billion Title I Grants to LEAs program.

19. Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants (- $2,345,000,000)

The Budget proposes eliminating Supporting Effective Instruction (SEI) State Grants program. While the SEI State Grants program authorizes a wide range of activities, in school year 2015-2016, 52 percent of funds were used for professional development (PD) and 25 percent were used for class-size reduction. An LEA that identifies either activity as a key strategy for responding to a comprehensive needs assessment may use Title I, Part A funds for the same purpose. Title I funds also may be used to recruit and retain effective teachers. In addition, professional development, as currently provided, has shown limited impact on student achievement. For example, a recent evaluation of an intensive elementary school mathematics PD program found that while the PD improved teacher knowledge and led to improvements in teachers’ use and quality of explanation in the classroom, there was no difference in student achievement test scores on either the State assessment or on a study-administered math test. Additional Department of Education-funded studies of PD have found similar results. While class size reduction has been shown to increase student achievement, school districts used SEI State grant funds to pay the salaries of an estimated 8,000 teachers in school year 2015-2016, out of a total nationwide teacher workforce of roughly three million teachers. These data suggest that eliminating the program is likely to have minimal impact on class sizes or teacher staffing levels.

20. Teacher Quality Partnership (- $43,000,000)

The TQP program supports partnerships to create a variety of effective pathways into teaching and increase the number of teachers effective in improving student outcomes. The TQP authority is overly restrictive and does not provide States, school districts, and institutions of higher education sufficient flexibilities to meaningfully design systems of teacher preparation, recruitment, and induction that meet their staffing needs. In addition, funding to support partnerships that enhance professional development activities and training for current and prospective teachers and staff may be provided through Elementary and Secondary Education Act formula grant funds (e.g., Title I), as well as from competitive grant programs. There is also limited evidence that demonstrates this program is any more effective than other State- and locally-driven initiatives designed to train and retain highly effective teachers in critical shortage areas.

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