This post was last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 01:51 pm
On Monday, U.S. President Trump’s administration announced its budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year. The proposal raised a lot of questions about the way the administration looked at various sectors of the economy, especially education.
According to the blueprint, the administration has roughly requested $7.1 billion cut in funds for the education department as compared to 2019. The proposed fall implies that there will be a 10 per cent decline in the budget.
Education has been an outright agenda for both sides of the House for a very long period of time, besides playing a major role in re-election. Though the proposal is highly unlikely to go anywhere, with the Congress expecting to disregard it, but the administration believes that it is a state and local issue, and the federal government should not have its say in it.
The proposal just like previous years looks to eliminate a range of programs such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, an incentive program which forgives the student-loan of public service workers, apart from steep cuts to the National Institutes of Health, which channelizes money in research of higher education.
Contrarily, the budget has also presented to increase the amount of spending on federal charter-school grants by $60 million. The move implies that it would historically support colleges and universities, and expand Pell Grants to short-term programs rather than funding colleges in two and four years’ programs. The grants would further create emergency plans and improve access to counseling, mental-health services, and similar strategies to improve the school environment.
For Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the administration, the centric talking point has remained the same. “This budget at its core is about education freedom,” said DeVos in a statement. “Freedom for America’s students to pursue their life-long learning journeys in the ways and places that work best for them, freedom for teachers to develop their talents and pursue their passions, and freedom from the top-down ‘Washington knows best’ approach that has proven ineffective and even harmful to students,” she added.
However, there still hasn’t been any difference to the way budget proposals have come forward year after year.
“Congress and the administration have not been synced up around the total funding number for the department,” Jim Blew, the assistant secretary of education, told reporters prior to the bill’s release. However, “we’re coming back again asking for a reduction because the administration believes that we need to reduce the amount of discretionary funding for the Education Department,” Blew added.
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