President’s Budget Submission to Congress The President has submitted his budget submission for FY 2011 to the Congress. In it he proposes to increase education spending by $3.5 billion for FY 10. In his submission are many proposed changes to many elementary and secondary programs as well as higher ed. However, most of these changes will require Congressional action, most notably the rewriting of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). For a complete explanation of the President’s recommendations go to the U.S. Department of Education website at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget11/summary/index.html
For Title I there are proposed many changes – first in the budget documents Title I is called: College Ready Students and Education for the Disadvantaged is called Accelerating Achievement and Ensuring Equity. The programs that are formula funded in Title I are proposed to be level funded. However, there are proposals to increase funding for the school improvement grants (now to be called school turnaround grants) is slated for an increase of $354 million. In addition, funds (which had been announced earlier) for a third round of Race to the Top are included in the budget proposal for $1.35 billion (but will require new legislation).
A number of important policy recommendations are in the budget submission. One of them is that there are over 30 programs consolidated into 6 "funding streams.” One of these funding streams is Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy. This takes funds from six programs and consolidates them in an age 0 – grade 12 $450 million literacy professional development program. This is an expansion from the Striving Readers program in the FY 10 appropriations ($250 million) and also reflects the priorities outlined in the LEARN Act. However, to raise the funds to $450 million it assumes cuts in several important literacy programs – Even Start, National Writing Project, Ready-to-Learn Television, Literacy through School Libraries and RIF.
In other areas, funding for early childhood programs are expanded, there is hoped to be a second Innovation Fund (I3) round of grants, and a "funding stream” called Excellent Instructional Teams. ELL gets a small increase, and there are increases for public school choice and charter school programs. Overall, the budget reflects a significant overall investment in education being proposed by this administration with many legislative changes being called for. One of the most unique is planning to add $1 billion to ESEA if it is rewritten before the appropriations bill is finalized.
The next step in the budget process is for the House and Senate Budget Committees to review the overarching structure of the funding. This means that they work in big categories – mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and revenue.