Essential Education: Social workers will stand trial for death of 8-year-old boy

President Trump’s proposed budget would reduce education spending nationwide while boosting money for school vouchers and charter schools.

While most public school dollars come from states and districts, federal funds cover specific programs. Since California is the most populous state, it stands to lose the most money. 

This fiscal year, the federal government is expected to pay California $4.09 billion for K-12 programming and $4.3 billion for college programs, EdSource noted.

The Trump administration has proposed entirely cutting Supporting Effective Instruction grants, which pay for teacher training. California gets about $250 million from that fund, and school districts use it in different ways.

Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor and president of the Learning Policy Institute — a nonprofit group focused on teaching — noted that under No Child Left Behind, the state used these grants to reduce class sizes.

More recently the funds have been used on specific methods of teacher training and improvement, she said.

“If you’re not helping people learn how to reorganize schools and evolve their teaching, it makes a huge difference in what’s possible,” Darling-Hammond said.

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Michelle King said in a statement, “The proposed cuts would decimate programs that have successfully provided our students with a high-quality education.”

The budget also seeks to zero out part of Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property, money that gets wired from the federal government to the bank accounts of school districts that serve students from Indian reservations or public schools on nontaxed federal land such as military bases — in other words, schools that can’t rely on property taxes for revenue.

In California, at least 15 school districts would lose $18 million collectively as a result of this cut. In 2014, California districts received about a quarter of all such funds nationwide.

According to a statement released by the National Assn. of Federally Impacted Schools, “The elimination of Federal Properties funding would result in cuts to personnel and professional development, academic materials, transportation, technology, and other general operating expenses.”

The proposed budget cuts or eliminates over 20 programs.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a statement that called the slashes efficient. “Taxpayers deserve to know their dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively,” she said. “This budget is the first step in investing in education programs that work.”

False assurances given about federal education funding

False assurances given about federal education funding

March 16, 2017 | Vol. 120 — No. 48

Our state representatives Jeff Holy and Mike Volz of the 6th District,  both Republicans, held a town hall meeting in Spokane on March 11. The majority of the questions were posed by articulate and enthusiastic teachers in the area, many from Cheney and Medical Lake.

Our representatives assured the attendees that the authority of the federal Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, would not impact education in Washington State. Volz said in response to a question about vouchers undermining public education, “What they do at the national level does not impact our state constitution and our constitution is clear about funding public education in Washington state as a paramount duty. They can change what the national policy arrangement is and it doesn’t impact our state.”

Holy chimed in with the comment that if there is a conflict between the national government and the states, the courts would sort out the situation. My understanding is that DeVos could arrange for school pupils to obtain vouchers and use them for religious schools, virtual schools, transportation, home schooling, charter schools, public schools or savings for college. That would greatly undermine our public school system as the local public schools would lose some of  their funding.

I believe that people were left with the false assurance that Washington residents need not be concerned about what was happening to education at the federal level.

Nancy Street

Cheney

Trump Sharpens Budget Knife for Education Department, Sources …

The Trump administration is contemplating dramatic cuts to K-12 spending, including a possible $6 billion reduction to existing programs in the U.S. Department of Education, according to multiple education policy sources who have gleaned details about budget documents still being finalized. The department currently has a budget of about $70 billion.

The possible cuts would be included in the Trump administration’s initial spending plan for fiscal year 2018, which begins Oct. 1 and generally impacts the 2018-19 school year. Such cuts in a budget proposal expected this week could mean a staffing reduction at the department in the range of 25 to 30 percent, sources said, although it’s not clear how the cuts would be applied. The department currently has about 4,000 employees.

Sources said specifics on the budget in general remain in flux, and it’s still unclear how much detail will be included in the initial proposal. The Education Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Some of the programs said to be headed for the chopping block have major support on both sides of the congressional aisle. They include the roughly $1.2 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which could be slated for elimination, sources said. The program helps finance after-school, extended-day, and other enrichment programs, and is popular with lawmakers in rural states.  

Sources said the budget proposal in the works could also eliminate the third-largest K-12 program in the department: Supporting Effective Instruction state grants program, also known as Title II, Part A, which is funded at $2.25 billion and provides funding for a host of professional development programs for educators. The money can also be used for hiring teachers and school leaders and reducing class sizes. 

And there could be significant cuts to other programs, including the $1 billion Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program, which is the largest federal funding source for high schools, as well as at least two longstanding college-access programs, TRIO and GEARUP.

Sources also said they did not expect the administration to fund Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new block grant created under the law that districts could use for health, safety, technology, arts, and other programs. 

The budget could, however, make room for a $200 million pilot program for school choice, sources said. And charter school grants, currently funded at more than $300 million, could also see an increase. 

Significant proposed cuts, while eye-popping, wouldn’t come as a complete surprise. President Donald Trump said earlier this year that he wants to boost defense spending by $54 billion, and make up for it with commensurate cuts to domestic programs, including K-12 education. 

There could be at least a couple of bright spots for education, sources said. They could include a proposed increase to Title I grants for disadvantaged students, which are currently funded at nearly $15 billion. It is unclear how much of the still-unknown increase would be new money, since Congress eliminated the School Improvement Grant program under ESSA and combined it with Title I. And special education state grants, funded at nearly $12 billion, would appear likely to be spared from major reductions. 

The cuts being contemplated, if proposed and enacted, could have a dramatic impact on the department, as well as state and local education budgets. At the same time though, it’s hard to imagine the current, Republican-controlled Congress signing off wholesale on cuts of this scope.

“Presidents propose budgets, Congress disposes of them,” said a GOP aide who had not yet been briefed on the spending plan. “Trump’s a negotiator, he will come in with a low bid and see what the counterproposal is.”


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Education Budget Cuts, Student Aid Problems And More

Federal Budget Cuts

National K-12 and higher ed news came fast and furious this week. Here are our highlights to help you keep on top.

The president’s “skinny budget” has cuts for education

The biggest story of our week happened early Thursday morning when President Trump released his budget outline, historically known as a “skinny budget” because it has few details.

The U.S. Department of Education came in for a $9 billion, or 13.5 percent, cut.

During Trump’s campaign, he promised $20 billion for school choice. His 2018 budget is the first small step in that direction, increasing charter school funding by two-thirds, funding an unspecified new “private school choice program,” and adding another $1 billion for Title I, which helps fund high-poverty schools. That Title I money would be earmarked to “encourage” school choice.

On the other side of the ledger, Trump proposed eliminating support for after-school programs and teacher professional development.

In higher education, the proposed budget puts Pell grants and federal work-study programs at risk. Pells are the largest income-based financial aid program; they serve largely low-income students and do not need to be paid back.

Reactions were swift from many education groups:

  • “Reckless and wrong for students and families.” — Lily Eskelsen Garcia of the National Education Association.
  • “Draconian” cuts to the Pell Grant. — John B. King Jr., the previous education secretary who now leads The Education Trust.
  • “Cuts threaten nation’s most vulnerable schoolchildren.” — Dale Erquiaga of the nonprofit Communities in Schools.

School choice supporters were more sanguine: “The charter school movement is grateful for the president’s support,” said the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.

All the news didn’t come from Washington, though:

Community college students struggle with hunger and homelessness

A national survey from the University of Wisconsin shows that one-third of community college students are hungry and 14 percent are homeless. The survey covered 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states. One of the researchers, Sara Goldrick-Rab, says student hunger and homelessness is happening “all over the place.”

Student loan default rates are rising

A report by the Consumer Federation of America, analyzing Education Department data, found a 14 percent increase in federal student loan defaults from 2015 to 2016. The rise was driven by people who defaulted more than once. This is despite a wide range of options to help former students lower their payments and avoid falling behind. The average amount owed per borrower also grew, to $30,650 up from $26,300 at the end of 2013.

FAFSA news: college aid applications made harder; lawmakers ask questions

An IRS web tool that makes it much easier to apply for college aid was taken down just as application deadlines are approaching.

The IRS initially said the data-retrieval tool will be down for “several weeks,” in reaction to concerns about identity theft.

A bipartisan crew of lawmakers sent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos a letter essentially saying: What?

“The loss of the [tool] could discourage many eligible low-income students from applying for aid … altogether,” stated the letter, signed by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Reps. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and Bobby Scott, D-Va. These are the heads of the Senate and House committees that deal with education.

They asked for a briefing with DeVos to hear what steps the department is taking to remedy the situation.

Kentucky joins the school choice bandwagon

Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, signed a bill on Thursday allowing Kentucky to have charter schools. The state was previously one of only seven without a charter school law.

Starting next school year, local school boards and the mayors of Louisville and Lexington will have the authority to oversee and approve an unlimited number of charter schools. The state school board can repeal denied requests.

This law exempts the charter schools from many state regulations, but not those related to health, safety, civil and disability rights.

Cheaper college for federal employees

Two universities are offering federal employees access to higher education programs.

Georgetown University announced that federal employees will be eligible for a 10 percent discount for all degree and professional certificate programs in the School of Continuing Studies.

The College for America at Southern New Hampshire University offers competency-based degree programs that cost $3,000 per year. This program is now available to all federal employees and their families.

March Madness … in debt

In the spirit of March Madness, ProPublica filled out a bracket based on each college’s ability to graduate low-income students with the least amount of debt. Princeton came out on top.

Trump’s Budget Plan Cuts Funding For Arts, Humanities And Public Media

President Trump speaks during a rally on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., a day before his budget proposal was released.

Evan Vucci/AP


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Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump speaks during a rally on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., a day before his budget proposal was released.

Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump’s proposed budget calls for big cuts in a wide array of domestic programs — among them, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media.

Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be cut to zero under the proposal, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely, the first time any president has proposed such a measure.

The spending outline is what White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney calls a “hard-power budget,” with spending increases for defense and homeland security at the expense of many other programs in the discretionary part of the budget.

Trump Unveils 'Hard Power' Budget That Boosts Military Spending

Mulvaney appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning to defend the proposal.

“Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?” he asked. “The answer was no. We can ask them to pay for defense and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

CPB received $445 million in federal funding in the last fiscal year; the NEA and NEH got about $148 million each — a tiny portion of the roughly $4 trillion federal budget.

In a statement, CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison said, “There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s education and informational programming and services.” She called public media “one of America’s best investments,” costing “approximately $1.35 per citizen per year.”

Most CPB funds go directly to local radio and TV stations. NPR’s funding sources include the program fees those stations pay, and the network receives less than 2 percent of its budget directly from CPB.

Trump's Budget Slashes Climate Change Funding

Trump's Budget Blueprint Pinches Pennies For Education

In a statement, NPR COO Loren Mayor said:

“Millions of Americans depend on their local public radio station for the fact-based, objective, public service journalism they need to stay informed about the world and about the news in their own communities. Public media serves the public interest with essential educational, news and cultural programming not found anywhere else, as well as vital information during local and regional emergencies. Federal funding is an essential ingredient to making this possible.”

The federal funds are especially crucial for local stations, as well as local arts groups, which often receive matching funds from other donors based on their federal allocations.

NEH Chairman William D. Adams issued a statement saying his agency is “greatly saddened to learn of this proposal for elimination.” NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every Congressional District in the nation.”

That reference to every congressional district is key for the survival prospects of all three agencies. Congress will have the final say about the fate of Trump’s budget, and while some conservatives have long targeted arts and public media for cuts, lawmakers from both parties have supported the agencies in the past.

The NEH says its grants “have reached into every part of the country,” noting:

According to Americans for the Arts, NEA’s annual appropriation supports a $730 billion arts and culture industry, 4.8 million jobs and a $26 billion trade surplus for the nation.

Trump budget would result in loss of hundreds of millions in education dollars to California

Michael Vadon / Flickr

March 16, 2017
1 Comment

Even as his proposed 2017-18 budget calls for increasing funding for “school choice” programs, President Donald Trump is proposing to cut programs that would result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal support to California for early learning programs, K-12 schools, teacher preparation and retention, and college student aid.

If Congress were to agree to this proposal, the cuts would come as part of deep budget reductions Trump is seeking in numerous federal departments and agencies, while massively increasing spending on defense and homeland security. All states would feel the proposed cuts. But because of its size, California receives the largest amount in federal support and therefore would experience the most cuts, affecting the largest number of students.

Consistent with long-standing Republican policy positions to shrink the U.S. Department of Education, Trump is proposing to reduce its budget by 13 percent, or $9 billion, while investing an additional $1.4 billion in “school choice” programs. That would include increased support for charter schools and a new $250 million “school choice” proposal for private schools.

One major program Trump is proposing to eliminate is the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction Grants program, also known as Title II Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. It is intended to improve teacher preparation and recruit and retain high quality teachers.

California currently receives $252 million from this grant fund.  The Trump’s budget described the programs as “poorly targeted and spread thinly across thousands of districts with scant evidence of impact.”

To see how much each California district is currently receiving, go to table at the end of this report. 

If implemented, the cuts would come at a time when California is experiencing severe teacher shortages in many fields. Retaining teachers could go a long way to addressing those shortages, according to estimates by the Learning Policy Institute.

Efforts to address these and related issues through the program “are crucial to improving instruction, turning around schools, and addressing teacher and principal shortages and turnover,” said Learning Policy Institute President Linda Darling-Hammond.

Another program slated for elimination is the $1.2 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs as well as summer programs. California currently receives $113 million from the program, which Trump’s budget document describes as “lacking strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improved school achievement.”

In terms of higher education, Trump wants to “significantly reduce” the federal work-study program for college students. His budget proposal describes the program as “poorly targeted.” California currently receives $104 million through the program.

He also is pushing to eliminate the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program “to reduce complexity in financial student aid.” California currently receives $82 million from that program.

For a list of  federal education funds received by California, go here.

This fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, California is expected to receive $4.09 billion dollars in federal support for all elementary and secondary education programs out of the last budget approved by Congress during President Barack Obama’s administration. California receives another $4.3 billion in postsecondary funding, most of which consists of $4.1 billion in Pell Grants for low-income college students.

Altogether, California will receive $8.8 billion in early education, K-12 and higher education funding from the federal government this fiscal year.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos embraced the budget Trump proposed for her department, including the cuts. “Taxpayers deserve to know their dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively,” she said.

Trump is also proposing “level funding” to continue the $13 billion the federal government currently spends on special education programs as authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Special education advocates have been pushing  for decades for additional federal support because the amount provided by the federal government pays for only a fraction of the total costs incurred by states and school districts in order to satisfy federal mandates. Trump’s proposal to just keep funding at the current level was met with disappointment by the The School Superintendents Association, or AASA, which represents school superintendents nationally.

Trump’s proposal for a $1.4 billion school choice program raises multiple questions. He is calling for increasing the charter school grant program by $168 million from its current level of $333 million, bringing the total amount to just over $500 million. He also wants to start a new $250 million “private school choice program,” but does not provide any details on his plan.

The biggest portion of his school choice plan would come from a $1 billion increase in Title 1 funding, the federal program that currently totals about $15 billion and which goes to schools serving low-income students. The funds would not expand existing Title 1 funds, but would create an entirely new program under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Trump wants to designate the $1 billion for programs in which dollars “follow the student” and which would allow the student to attend “the public school of his or her choice.”

Once again, Trump’s proposal is extremely short on details. But it would seem to allow students to attend whatever public school they wish to attend, whether a traditional public school or a charter, even if that school was in another district, and assuming that school was willing to admit them. But in California, both traditional schools and charter schools already receive funds based on a student’s attendance. So it is not clear whether the funds Trump wants to set aside for this purpose would be in addition to the funds a school or district already receives from the state, and whether it would have to be spent specifically on that student, or for programs that generally benefit him or her.

President Trump is proposing to eliminate the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction Grants program, also known as Title II Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is intended to improve teacher preparation and recruit and retain high quality teachers.  The database covering most school districts in the state shows how much each district are slated to receive during the current (2016-17) year — and approximately how much they would lose should Congress go along with Trump’s proposal.

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  1. 3 days ago3 days ago

    The federal commitment to children with disabilities is abysmal! The 2015-16 local education agency (LEA) special education expenditure data just released indicates the federal special education funding contribution to California declining to just 9.19%, while the state funds 29.01% of the cost, resulting in LEAs having to backfill the funding shortfall using Local Control Funding Formula base funding. That’s 61.80% of the cost – or a whopping $8.1 billion statewide! Shameful!

What Trump cut in his budget

Primarily Medicare,

Social Security and

interest on the debt

Increasing education funding without increasing transparency and …

Californians pay the top marginal income tax rate in the nation, 13.3 percent. So as we prepare for Tax Day, it is worth considering where all that state tax money is supposed to go and whether or not it actually reaches the students it is intended for.

California’s single largest budget item is education funding. In fact, the state’s budget for K-12 schools and two-year community colleges has increased from $47 billion in 2011 to a projected $73 billion in the 2017-2018 school year.

Last November, voters extended the state’s income tax on high-income earners, which provides billions of dollars for K-12 education and funds the state’s Local Control Funding Formula. The LCFF was designed to give school districts flexibility, more local control and guarantee that the districts with substantial numbers of disadvantaged students receive more state money for those kids.

In 2020, when the Local Control Funding Formula is fully funded, school districts should receive a projected basic rate of about $9,115 for every student. The weighted formula for each student who is an English language learner, a foster care child, or from a low-income household would increase the funding to $10,978 for each disadvantaged student. In addition, a concentration grant would increase per-pupil funding to $14,128 for every disadvantaged student in school districts where more than 55 percent of students enrolled are low-income or English learners.

The statute creating this formula requires that targeted funding — supplemental and concentration money — be invested in ways that “increase or improve” education for these disadvantaged students. However, it does not require districts to explicitly detail how they spend this earmarked money on disadvantaged kids or mandate that the money follows low-income students to the classroom.

This lack of transparency has already been problematic and it appears that many school districts may be spending money intended for disadvantaged students on district-wide expenses. A new February 2017 report by the Center for Public Integrity notes that as “the LCFF unfolds, complaints are surfacing about dubious expenditures — on school policing or across-the-board staff pay raises that state officials warn should be ‘targeted’ to benefit disadvantaged kids.”

In one notable recent example, the state ruled that Los Angeles Unified School District shortchanged its neediest students by $450 million by diverting state funds intended for high-need students to district-wide spending projects.

As California increases education spending, the question is whether school districts will properly funnel the money they should to disadvantaged students or if they’ll shift that money to pay for normal operations. Sadly, despite the state Legislature’s goal of improving outcomes for low-income students, Californians have no way to measure whether the extra tax money actually reaches disadvantaged kids.

Now is the perfect time for California to hold school districts accountable. A new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, says states must “include actual per-pupil spending by school on state, district and school report cards. Expenditures must be reported by funding source (federal, state and local), and must include actual personnel salaries, not district or state averages.”

California could meet this federal requirement and prove its school districts are living up to the state’s Local Control Funding Formula at the same time by implementing a new financial accountability system that clearly reveals how districts attach weighted state funding to disadvantaged students and shows actual per-pupil spending at the school level.

The state’s neediest students should actually receive the tax dollars that voters and the Legislature intended to spend on them. And everyone, especially parents, deserves a better way to see exactly how school districts are spending taxpayer money.

Lisa Snell is director of education at Reason Foundation.

Increasing education funding without increasing transparency and accountability

Californians pay the top marginal income tax rate in the nation, 13.3 percent. So as we prepare for Tax Day, it is worth considering where all that state tax money is supposed to go and whether or not it actually reaches the students it is intended for.

California’s single largest budget item is education funding. In fact, the state’s budget for K-12 schools and two-year community colleges has increased from $47 billion in 2011 to a projected $73 billion in the 2017-2018 school year.

Last November, voters extended the state’s income tax on high-income earners, which provides billions of dollars for K-12 education and funds the state’s Local Control Funding Formula. The LCFF was designed to give school districts flexibility, more local control and guarantee that the districts with substantial numbers of disadvantaged students receive more state money for those kids.

In 2020, when the Local Control Funding Formula is fully funded, school districts should receive a projected basic rate of about $9,115 for every student. The weighted formula for each student who is an English language learner, a foster care child, or from a low-income household would increase the funding to $10,978 for each disadvantaged student. In addition, a concentration grant would increase per-pupil funding to $14,128 for every disadvantaged student in school districts where more than 55 percent of students enrolled are low-income or English learners.

The statute creating this formula requires that targeted funding — supplemental and concentration money — be invested in ways that “increase or improve” education for these disadvantaged students. However, it does not require districts to explicitly detail how they spend this earmarked money on disadvantaged kids or mandate that the money follows low-income students to the classroom.

This lack of transparency has already been problematic and it appears that many school districts may be spending money intended for disadvantaged students on district-wide expenses. A new February 2017 report by the Center for Public Integrity notes that as “the LCFF unfolds, complaints are surfacing about dubious expenditures — on school policing or across-the-board staff pay raises that state officials warn should be ‘targeted’ to benefit disadvantaged kids.”

In one notable recent example, the state ruled that Los Angeles Unified School District shortchanged its neediest students by $450 million by diverting state funds intended for high-need students to district-wide spending projects.

As California increases education spending, the question is whether school districts will properly funnel the money they should to disadvantaged students or if they’ll shift that money to pay for normal operations. Sadly, despite the state Legislature’s goal of improving outcomes for low-income students, Californians have no way to measure whether the extra tax money actually reaches disadvantaged kids.

Now is the perfect time for California to hold school districts accountable. A new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, says states must “include actual per-pupil spending by school on state, district and school report cards. Expenditures must be reported by funding source (federal, state and local), and must include actual personnel salaries, not district or state averages.”

California could meet this federal requirement and prove its school districts are living up to the state’s Local Control Funding Formula at the same time by implementing a new financial accountability system that clearly reveals how districts attach weighted state funding to disadvantaged students and shows actual per-pupil spending at the school level.

The state’s neediest students should actually receive the tax dollars that voters and the Legislature intended to spend on them. And everyone, especially parents, deserves a better way to see exactly how school districts are spending taxpayer money.

Lisa Snell is director of education at Reason Foundation.

The Trump-DeVos Budget Would Dismantle Public Education, Hurting Vulnerable Kids, Working Families, and Teachers

Yesterday, President Donald Trump released his devastating budget for the 2018 fiscal year. It would dismantle public schools through massive cuts to teacher training, after-school programs in public schools, and transfers of public funds to private school vouchers. Every budget is a statement of values and this one could not be more clear in the vision it presents: starve the public school system and privatize education.

The Trump budget would slash $9 billion—13 percent of the U.S. Department of Education’s funding—while investing $1.4 billion of new money in school choice, including private school vouchers, sending a clear signal that the Trump administration prioritizes ideologically driven voucher schemes over great public schools.

For such a draconian proposal, the budget is remarkably short on details. Although it cuts $9 billion in education, only about $7 billion of cuts are specifically mentioned, raising the question of what other cuts the Trump administration is planning to make. Is the federal investment in career and technical education at risk, for example? It mentions a $1 billion increase in Title I but provides virtually no details about this proposal and implies that the funding would not run through the Title I formula, which provides more resources to high-poverty districts.

Dismantling our nation’s public education system while investing in unproven schemes to incentivize private school vouchers that have no evidence of improving student achievement could have devastating consequences for students that could take decades to fix.

Privatization proposals

This budget invests a whopping $1.4 billion of new funding in “school choice” and says that investment will grow to $20 billion annually. While woefully short on details, this proposal makes clear that the administration seeks to create a new $250 million federal program that will allow taxpayer dollars to flow to private schools, which are not accountable; can discriminate in admissions and discipline; and are not subject to basic monitoring, oversight, and civil rights laws.

Decades of research on vouchers show that they do not lead to better outcomes. The most comprehensive research, on statewide voucher programs in Indiana and Louisiana, found large negative results in both reading and math. Public elementary school students who started at the 50th percentile in math and then used a voucher to transfer to a private school dropped to the 26th percentile in a single year. In addition, these programs would likely not benefit vast swaths of America.

The administration also proposes a 50 percent increase in the charter school program. High-quality charter management organizations, or CMOs, have a demonstrated record of improving student outcomes, in part because they grow deliberately, select their staff carefully, and develop community buy-in. It is unlikely that these organizations could sustain their performance while growing as rapidly as a 50 percent single-year increase would require.

While incredibly vague on the details, the proposal also implies that the $1 billion increase in Title I would only go to districts that adopt the student budgeting and open enrollment practices. While the Center for American Progress has supported weighted student funding, it is disingenuous for the Trump administration to frame this funding as a significant increase to Title I.

Elimination of funding for teacher support and after-school programs

The budget eliminates funding for the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, or Title II, of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, and the $1.2 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers, or 21st CCLC, Title IV, Part B, of ESSA. Taken together, these cuts will deprive already vulnerable students’ equitable access to excellent instruction and after-school programs—critical resources and services that could make them less likely to live in poverty as adults.

Title II is the major federal funding stream districts use to support their teacher workforce and ensure equitable access to high-quality teachers and principals for all students. The proposed elimination of Title II funds translates to a loss of 40,000 teachers’ salaries. California, home to the largest number of public school students, stands to lose $263 million in funding that could pay for more than 3,600 teachers’ salaries. Oklahoma, a mid-sized state, would lose $27 million, enough to support 600 teachers’ salaries, even as the state faces serious budget reductions. Even Alaska, a small state in the midst of a fiscal crisis, could lose $11 million that could pay for 167 teacher salaries.

Cutting funds that states and districts would otherwise use to recruit, train, support, and compensate their teachers would be a devastating blow, especially to the regions of the country confronting teacher shortages. While there is no doubt that Title II funds could be better spent, Congress took a step toward improving the efficiency of the program in ESSA. Further efforts should be made to reform the program, but slashing this needed funding from state and local budgets is not the answer.

President Trump’s budget also eliminates $1.2 billion in funding for after-school and summer learning programs across the country. This move would harm working parents, many of whom may rely on after-school and summer programming so that they can provide for their families. In fact, 8 in 10 participating parents say that 21st CCLC after-school programs help them keep their jobs. President Trump’s proposal to eliminate this program would affect the more than 1.6 million students currently attending a 21st CCLC program.

For example, Klamath Falls City Schools in Oregon could lose their after-school and summer programming after four years of successful implementation. This would mean a loss of enrichment opportunities that provide a well-rounded educational experience, including sports, art classes, off-site field trips, and vital summer school courses for high school students working toward college credit. In Pennsylvania, which would see $42 million in cuts, the 21st CCLC Schuylkill Achieve after-school program, which helps raise money for families affected by cancer while inspiring students to serve others, could disappear.

In addition to cutting supports to teachers and after-school programs, this budget doubles down on its attack on teachers and working families by eliminating funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, or CNCS, which provides volunteer support and educational awards for teachers in training and out-of-school time programming. A recent analysis showed that a majority of competitive grant awardees in the AmeriCorps program, the largest CNCS program, go to educational programs in schools and serve students in 41 states and Washington, D.C. Furthermore, CNCS funds are crucial to the functioning of some of the most dynamic and effective education reform organizations—including KIPP Public Charter Schools, Success Academy Charter Schools, Boston Teacher Residency, Reading Corps, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Teach For America—and eliminating them would undermine these organizations’ ability to improve student outcomes.

State impacts of cuts

President Trump’s budget would hinder every state’s ability to deliver critical services and resources to their K-12 students. Trump’s elimination of the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants and the 21st CCLC after-school program alone would mean a loss of nearly $3.6 billion in funding, impacting thousands of teachers and millions of students. The following table illustrates these figures for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Funding for some of the largest federal education programs has barely risen since 2009. In addition, 23 states provide less general funding to schools in 2017 than before the recession in 2008. The Trump-DeVos budget threatens to exacerbate the budgetary challenge states face by cutting at least $3.6 billion from ESSA programs and $9 billion from the Department of Education overall while making an unprecedented investment in an ambiguous “school choice” program. These cuts will likely force schools to scale back and reallocate already limited resources, eliminate critical services, such as after-school programming, and potentially even lay off teachers. Sadly, but not surprisingly, this sloppy budget demonstrates that President Trump and Secretary DeVos will even throw vulnerable students under the bus to push an agenda that will not benefit most Americans.

Stephenie Johnson is the Associate Campaign Director for the K-12 Education Policy team at the Center for American Progress. Neil Campbell is the Director of Innovation for the K-12 Education Policy team at the Center. Kami Spicklemire is an Education Campaign Manager at the Center. Lisette Partelow is the Director of K-12 Strategic Initiatives at the Center.