News Release, US Department of Education

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education today released the Administration’s budget request for the 2020 fiscal year. This budget reflects the Administration’s continued commitment to expanding education freedom, protecting our nation’s most vulnerable students, ensuring school safety and returning power over education decisions to those closest to students. And, for the first time, the budget proposes an innovative approach to providing teachers the freedom and flexibility to chart their own course for professional development through teacher vouchers.

“This budget at its core is about education freedom—freedom for America’s students to pursue their life-long learning journeys in the ways and places that work best for them, freedom for teachers to develop their talents and pursue their passions and freedom from the top-down ‘Washington knows best’ approach that has proven ineffective and even harmful to students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“I’ve spoken with hundreds of teachers as I’ve traveled across the country and hosted teacher roundtables at the Department, and I heard far too often how limited most teachers are in their own professional development. They have little to no say in the courses they take. They have very little freedom to explore subject areas that interest them. And, too many of our nation’s teachers, don’t have access to high quality mentoring or residency programs. I’m excited about the teacher voucher program included in this budget that not only provides much needed freedom and flexibility for teachers, but also respects them as the professionals they are.

“This budget also reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to ensuring our nation’s students are safe at school. While there is no one-size-fits all solution to preventing school violence, the Administration’s proposal ensures states and local leaders have the resources they need to develop their own safety plans.

“We have also reaffirmed our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating or eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs. Tough decisions were made, but we made sure that this budget protects our most vulnerable students by requesting level-funding for Title I and IDEA.

“I look forward to working with Congress to pass a budget that truly puts the needs of students, parents, teachers and local leaders first, because it is my sincere belief that if we give them the freedom to break free from the one-size-fits-all ‘school system,’ we will truly begin to unleash our nation’s full potential.”

Highlights from the President’s FY 2020 Budget Request include:

1. Education freedom for more of our nation’s students

  • Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) would provide up to $5 billion in extra education funding to help students across the country access the education that is right for them. To learn more about EFS
  • Doubled DC Opportunity Scholarship Program funding, for a total of $30 million.
  • $500 million for the Charter Schools Program which is an increase of $60 million over FY19.
  • $107 million for the Magnet School Program.
  • $50 million for Student-Centered Funding Incentive Grants to help increase transparency in education funding and allow more federal, state and local dollars to follow students to their schools.

2. Elevating the teaching profession through personalization

  • $300 million investment in Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grants, with new funds going to customized teacher professional development. This program would provide teachers with PD stipends – or what can be thought of as PD vouchers—to chart their own professional development.
  • $200 million investment in Teacher and School Leaders (TSL) Incentive Grants, so teachers can benefit from high quality mentoring and residency programs

3. Continued support for our nation’s most-vulnerable students.

  • Level funding at $15.9 billion for Title I grants.
  • Level funding at $1.4 billion for Impact Aid that supports federally connected children.
  • Level funding at $13.2 billion for IDEA formula grants.

4. Promoting safe and secure schools

  • $700 million across ED, DOJ and HHS.
  • $200 million for School Safety National Activities grants for technical assistance to help states and school districts develop school emergency operation plans, offer counseling and implement evidence-based practices for improving behavioral outcomes.

5. Promoting workforce development for the 21stCentury

  • $1.3 billion for Career and Technical Education (CTE) State Grants.
  • $20 million, which is $12.6 million more than the FY19 appropriation by Congress, for CTE National Programs to help states innovate and modernize their CTE programs.
  • $60 million for Fast-Track Pre-Apprenticeships in order to increase the number of adults who meet the basic entrance requirements of apprenticeship programs.

6. Streamlining and improving postsecondary aid

  • Expansion of Pell Grant eligibility for students enrolled in high quality short-term programs.
  • Simplification of the student loan program and loan repayment.
  • $1.8 billion to support the improved administration of the student aid programs, including the modernization of student loan servicing through the Next Generation Financial Services Environment.

To view details of the full budget request, clickhere.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...