2017 Education Budget Announced

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Last week (2/9/2016), the Obama Administration released their 2017 fiscal year education budget, which places a focus around advancing educational equity and excellence, supporting teachers and school leaders, and promoting college access affordability and completion. The new budget helps support the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and includes $69.4 billion in discretionary funding, a 2% increase over 2016. The budget includes key educational investments in the following:

Increasing Equity and Excellence in Education

  • $15.4 billion for Title I Grants for districts to help ensure that all students, including poor and minority students, students with disabilities, and English learners, graduate from high school prepared for college and careers
  • A commitment to early learning via the Preschool for All proposal, which would provide mandatory funding for universal high-quality preschool programs for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families, along with a total increase of $80 million for IDEA Preschool and IDEA Grants for Infants and Families, and an increase of $100 million to the Department of Health and Human Services for the jointly administered Preschool Development Grants program
  • $120 million for a new Stronger Together Grants program, which would encourage the development of innovative, ambitious plans to increase socioeconomic diversity through voluntary, community-supported strategies and expand existing efforts in states and communities
  • $4 billion in mandatory funding over three years for the new Computer Science for All program, which would support state efforts to expand access for all students to computer science instruction and programs of study. Additionally, $100 million in discretionary Computer Science for All Development Grants program for school districts, which would promote innovative strategies to provide high-quality instruction and other learning opportunities in computer science
  • $138 million for more vigorous enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which ensures equal access to education

Providing Support for Teachers and School Leaders

  • Support the Best Job in the World program which would make a $1 billion mandatory investment to support a nationwide effort to attract and retain effective teachers in high-need schools by increasing compensation and paths for advancement, implementing teacher-led development opportunities to improve instruction, and creating working conditions and school climates conducive to student success
  • $125 million for the proposed Teacher and Principal Pathways program for grants to institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations, working closely with school districts, to create or expand high-quality pathways into the teaching profession, particularly into high-needs schools and high-need subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • $10 million for Teach to Lead grants – focused around advancing student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership, particularly those that allow teachers to stay in the classroom.

Expanding Access, Affordability, and Completion in Higher Education

  • Provide $61 billion in mandatory funding over the next decade for America’s College Promise, which would create a new partnership with states to make two years of community college free for responsible students. Additionally, it provides grants to 4-year historically black colleges, universities, and minority-serving institutions to support two years of college at zero or reduced tuition for low-income students
  • Support and encourage on-time degree attainment through Pell for Accelerated Completion to provide year-round Pell Grant availability to low-income students taking a full course load
  • Increase the Pell Grant by an additional $300 through the On-Track Pell Bonus for students taking at least 15 credits per semester in an academic year
  • Reward colleges that successfully enroll and graduate a significant number of low-income students on time, and encourage all institutions to improve their performance through the new College Opportunity and Graduation Bonus program
  • Continue to index the Pell Grant to inflation indefinitely beyond the 2017 award year with mandatory funding to protect and sustain its value for future generations
  • Expand postsecondary opportunity to incarcerated individuals eligible for release through the Second Chance Pell proposal that would restore their Pell eligibility with the goals of helping them get jobs, support their families, turn their lives around, and strengthen their communities

The budget follows a central theme of helping all students get on a successful path to college and careers, with an emphasis on assisting low-income, minority, ESL, and students with disabilities graduate from high school. The increased funding for struggling and disadvantaged districts should provide new opportunities for resellers, who should concentrate on helping these districts find the most cost-effective solutions for their needs.

See the Full Budget

Source: The US Department of Education

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