Policy

Trump Budget Proposal Cuts Funding for Education Department, Student Aid

President Trump Thursday morning released a $1.15 trillion budget proposal that cuts the United States Department of Education’s $68 billion budget by $9.2 billion (or 13.5 percent), down to $59 billion.

According to the budget blueprint called “America First,” the Federal Pell Grants program could be “on sound footing for the next decade” since the administration would keep the program’s discretionary funding at its current $22.5 billion level. However, there will be “a cancellation of the $3.9 billion from unobligated carryover funding” out of the estimated $10.6 billion surplus. Funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions would remain at its current $492 million level.

However, Trump is restricting federal spending on education programs “that do not address national needs, duplicate other programs, or are more appropriately supported with state, local or private funds.” It calls for the elimination of the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, or Title II grants, stating that the program is “poorly targeted and spread thinly across thousands of districts with scant evidence of impact.” The $808 million Trio and $219 million GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), two programs that prepare low-income, first-generation and disabled middle and high school students for college, would lose $193 million. In addition, work-study programs will be “significantly” reduced and reformed “to ensure funds go to undergraduate students who would benefit most.”

The budget zeroes out funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, which provide millions in funding for programs at colleges and universities. The Corporation for Community and Public Service, which funds AmeriCorps, would also be completely eliminated.

The full budget outline is available here.

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