President Obama Releases FY2011 Budget
President Obama released his budget for federal programs in FY2011 today, calling for a 6.2 percent increase in funding at the Department of Education. The President’s budget for programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes a major restructuring of current ESEA programs and will provide more money for Pell grants and Race to the Top.
In the budget proposal, the Administration plans to consolidate 38 K–12 programs in 11 new funding streams focusing on instructional teams; effective teaching and learning; expanding educational options; college pathways and accelerated learning; and supporting student success. The budget also permanently establishes the Race to the Top program and the Investing in Innovation program.
The Math and Science Partnership program, which last year received $187 million, is one of the programs being consolidated into the Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM program. Under the new program the Administration is seeking $300 million in new grants to states to support professional development for STEM teachers, implementation of high-quality curriculum, assessments, and instructional materials, and creation or improvement of systems for linking student data on assessments with instructional supports such as lesson plans and intervention strategies.
The budget also dedicates $150 million within the Investing in Innovation Fund to competitive grants for school districts, nonprofits, and other organizations to test, validate, and scale promising strategies to improve teaching and accelerate student learning in STEM subjects.
Other increases in the budget include:
- $539 million for innovative teacher and leader reforms such as performance pay, bringing the total to $950 million, and $269 million for teacher and leader recruitment and preparation, bringing the total to $405 million.
- $354 million for school turnaround grants, bringing the total up to $900 million.
- $250 million for special education students, bringing the IDEA Grants to States total to $11.755B
- $210 million for Promise Neighborhoods, a new competitive grant program modeled on the Harlem Children’s Zone that combines comprehensive social services with school improvements in order to transform whole neighborhoods.
- $197 million for programs designed to promote a well-rounded education, supporting comprehensive literacy, STEM and other core subjects including history and arts.
- $81 million for expanding educational options, including at total of $365.5 million in funding for charter and other autonomous schools.
- $50 million for English Language Learner Programs, bringing the total amount up to $800 million.
- $45 million for school safety and student health programs for a total of $410 million under a new funding stream called Successful, Safe and Healthy Students.
- $98 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- $96.57 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other Minority Serving institutions
The Administration is seeking a $550 million increase (to $7.4 billion) for the National Science Foundation. Education and training programs would rise by 2.2%.
NCLB This Spring?
Concurrent to the proposed budget are reports that the Administration plans to aggressively seek reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in Congress later this spring. The New York Times reports that the Administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of NCLB’s adequate yearly progress and will work to eliminate the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency. The White House also wants to change federal financing formulas so that more federal money is awarded based on academic progress, rather than by formulas that apportion money to districts according to their numbers of students, especially poor students. “They want to recast the law so that it is as close to Race to the Top as they can get it, making the money conditional on districts’ taking action to improve schools,” said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, who attended a recent meeting at which administration officials outlined their plans in broad strokes. “Right now most federal money goes out in formulas, so schools know how much they’ll get, and then use it to provide services for poor children. The department thinks that’s become too much of an entitlement. They want to upend that scheme by making states and districts pledge to take actions the administration considers reform, before they get the money.”