Perhaps there might still be some sanity in the world…
Senate Appropriators informed Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos this week that her education budget was dead-on-arrival. Apparently her plan to make deep cuts or complete eliminations to valuable programs was met with staunch resistance from both Democrats and Republicans.
The department’s budget request proposed a $9.2 billion cut in fiscal 2018, to $59 billion from $68.2 billion in the annualized spending levels from the fiscal 2017 continuing resolution enacted in December. Several school choice programs, including vouchers and charter schools, would receive an additional $1.4 billion.
The Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee’s chairman, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), made it clear that proposed cuts to programs that hurt career/technical education students or disadvantaged students who hoped to attend college would not be allowed to happen, and that it would “be all but impossible to get those kinds of cuts through this committee. The kinds of cuts that are proposed in this budget will not occur.”
Roll Call goes on to broadly describe the most substantial cuts:
The programs on the chopping block in the budget request include 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which received about $1.2 billion in fiscal 2017 to provide educational before- and after-school programs as well as summer learning; comprehensive literacy development grants, which received $190 million this fiscal year to help states increase literacy in primary education; and the federal supplemental education opportunity grants, which received $732 million in fiscal 2017 to provide grants to college students to help “reduce financial barriers to postsecondary education.”
DeVos defended her cuts by saying they are justified by the programs’ ineffectiveness. She claims those on the chopping block were “duplicative, ineffective, or are better supported through state, local, or private efforts.”