Trump Killing DOE Budget and Programs

The Trump administration budget for FY21 has nearly an 8% cut to education funding.

"The president's and Secretary DeVos's FY21 education budget is not a pretty picture," said AFSA President Ernest Logan. "For starters, the budget would consolidate some 29 K–12 programsincluding Titles I, II and IVinto a single block grant that would total $19.4 billion. This will impact the services and programs delivered to schools, students and school leaders."

Education Week writers Andrew Ujifusa and Evie Blad report, "If the proposal were to be adopted, the federal government would no longer guarantee support specifically for the programs and policy areas being folded into the block grant. Most programs authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act would be consolidated into this new block grant."

At the briefing, the department said this block grant proposal represents "a starting point for a discussion with stakeholders, Congress and the public." The aim is to clear out the paperwork and allow states to make decisions on how to spend money, but the department suggests that at least some formulas and accountability requirements would continue to apply.

It is clear this proposal will go nowhere with Congress. It ignores the existing law and Congress' support of individual programs.

Education Week continues: "Trump's budget proposal marks the fourth straight time the president has sought to cut the Education Department's budget. Congress has essentially ignored his previous education spending blueprints and approved small increases for the department in each of the past three federal appropriations bills. There's no particular reason to think Capitol Hill would treat this newest proposal much differently."

In a press release, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) states, “I appreciate the president’s budget suggestions and will carefully consider his recommendations as Congress begins the process to fund the federal government for the next fiscal year. Under the Constitution, it is Congress’ job to set spending priorities and pass appropriations bills."

On the higher education side, Trump proposes elimination of $3.9 billion from the Pell Grant Surplus, which protects the program in down economic times. He also has asked for elimination of subsidized student loans and elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.