By Valerie Strauss / The Washington Post
Mental health services. Civics and arts programs. International education and language studies. Anti-bullying activities. Gifted and talented initiatives. Full-service community schools.
These are some of the K-12 education programs that President Donald Trump is proposing be eliminated in his first full budget, as explained in a Washington Post story.
The story, based on documents obtained by the Post, details the $10.6 billion in cuts the administration wants to make in federal education initiatives, and how it wants to reinvest part of the savings into efforts to promote school choice.
Here are some details that aren’t in the story. First is a list in the budget documents of proposed discretionary programs targeted for elimination, which the documents say will save $5.9 billion, and following that are the given justifications for each. They were targeted, the documents say, because they “achieved their original purpose, duplicate other programs, are narrowly focused, or are unable to demonstrate effectiveness.”
The president’s budget also eliminates funding for a program known as Title IV, meant for academic enrichment and student support.
Why are these being cut? Here is the rationale for each, from the budget documents.
The amounts are in millions:
21st Century Community Learning Centers … $1,164.5
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.
Alaska Native Education … $32.4
This program supports supplemental education services for a very high-need student population facing unique challenges in obtaining a high-quality education. The Alaska Native Education program largely duplicates services that may be funded through the $260 million in other Federal elementary and secondary programs that support Alaska as well as State, local, and private funds.
American History and Civics Academies … $1.8
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.)
Arts in Education … $26.9
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.
Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) … $15.1
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.
Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants/Striving Readers … $189.6
This program awards competitive grants to States, which make competitive subgrants to local entities to improve literacy instruction from birth through grade 12. The program has limited impact, with only 6 State grants in the most recent cohort, and duplicates activities that may be supported with other Federal, State, local, and private funds.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants … $731.7
This program allocates money to institutions using a statutory formula; the institutions then use the money to award need-based aid to students. This program duplicates the Pell Grant program and its allocation formula is not targeted efficiently, basing most of the allocation on prior allocation levels.
Full-Service Community Schools … $10.0
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.
Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property … $66.7
This authority provides payments to local educational agencies without regard to the presence of federally connected children and thus does not necessarily support the provision of educational services for federally connected children. Most districts that receive these payments have been funded for 40 years or more – plenty of time to adjust to the removal of Federal property from their tax rolls.
Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program … $26.9
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.
International Education and Foreign Language Studies Domestic Programs … $65.0
This program is designed to strengthen the capability and performance of American education in foreign languages and in international studies. This program supports activities that are better advanced by other agencies whose primary mission is national security.
International Education and Foreign Language Studies Overseas Programs … $7.0
This program improves secondary and postsecondary teaching and research concerning other cultures and languages, training of specialists, and the American public’s general understanding of the peoples of other countries. This program supports activities that are better advanced by other agencies whose primary mission is national security.
Javits Gifted and Talented Education … $12.0
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.
Native Hawaiian Education … $33.3
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.
Preschool Development Grants … $249.5
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.
Ready to Learn Programming … $25.7
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.
School Leader Recruitment and Support Program … $16.3
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.
Special Olympics Education Programs … $10.1
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.
Strengthening Institutions … $86.4
This program provides funds that may be used to support a wide variety of institutional support activities, including construction, maintenance, renovation, and improvement of instructional facilities. The program duplicates activities that may be supported with other Federal funds, including $492 million in the Higher Education Act Title III and V grant programs.
Supported Employment State Grants … $27.5
Through this formula grant program, State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies receive supplemental funds to assist consumers with the most significant disabilities in achieving the employment outcome of supported employment. As supported employment is now an integral part of the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants program, there is no longer a need for a separate funding stream to ensure the provision of such services.
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants … $2,345.4
This program provides funding for grants to national non-profit organizations for projects that are supported by at least moderate evidence to recruit, select, and prepare or provide professional enhancement activities for teachers, principals, or both. The Title II-A program is largely redundant and duplicative. Virtually all other ESEA formula grant funds (e.g., Title I, Title III), as well as funding from competitive grant programs, may be used for teacher or staff professional development.
Teacher Quality Partnerships … $43.0
The TQP program supports partnerships that enhance professional development activities and training for current and prospective teachers and staff. The statute places unnecessary burden on grantee activities, limiting their ability to design the programs that work best for local schools.
And more …
The budget documents show that the administration is also proposing $400 million in cuts to student support and academic programs that were combined in a Title IV fund by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Lawmakers actually authorized as much as $1.65 billion for this but the administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget gives no money at all to these programs.
What are they? According to this explanation on the Education Department website, the money is meant to be spent for these reasons:
1) To provide all students with access to a well-rounded education
2) Improve school conditions for student learning
3) Improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.
The programs include mental-health services, anti-bullying initiatives, physical education, Advanced Placement courses and science and engineering instruction. Congress created the fund, which totals $400 million this fiscal year, by rolling together several smaller programs.