President Trump Releases Blueprint to His First Budget
The Trump Administration has released a “skinny” version of its Fiscal Year 2018 budget, outlining the President’s spending priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Overall, the proposed budget would increase military spending by $54 billion, while cutting many non-discretionary programs to offset the costs.
Proposed Education Funding Levels
It is important to know the President’s budget is non-binding, serving merely as a guideline for Congress when they draft their appropriations bills. If Congress were to abide by the President’s recommendations, under this budget proposal, the U.S. Department of Education would receive $59 billion for FY18, a $9 billion decrease from its FY17 level.
Because this is a blueprint of what is to come from the full budget’s release, funding levels for certain education programs have yet to be mentioned, including ESSA’s major Title IV, Part A block grant that provides opportunities to expand access to music education. Below are funding levels that have been released for programs which may impact music education:
Title I, Part A – $15.9 billion ($1.0 billion increase)
- It is important to note that the funding increase would strictly be dedicated towards portability, where the funds would follow a low income student to a public school of his or her choice, which may not necessarily be a school that currently receives Title I funding. See School Choice section below.
School Choice – $1.4 billion
- The proposal provides a $1.4 billion increase for school choice programs, with plans to ramp up to $20 billion over time. This funding is comprised of several funding increases, including:
- Title I – An additional $1.0 billion dedicated to portability
- Private School Choice Program – $250 million
- Charter Schools – $168 million
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – $13.0 billion (level funding)
21st Century Community Learning Centers – Eliminated ($1.2 billion for after school programs)
Pell Grants – $22.5 billion ($3.9 billion surplus rescinded)
Title IV, Part A – Not mentioned **
Arts In Education – Not mentioned **
Elimination of the NEA and NEH
The President’s budget also proposes to eliminate funding for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) whole heartedly supports the NEA and NEH, and advocates for their continued funding as they provide significant attention and support for the broader music and arts community. See more in our statement here.
Ronny Lau, Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, March 16, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)