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Budget & Finance

Trump Signs Education Spending Bill That Funds 29 Programs He Sought to Abolish

By Andrew Ujifusa — December 20, 2019 1 min read
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The bill funding the U.S. Department of Education signed by President Donald Trump on Friday marks the third straight time he has unsuccessfully sought to cut the department’s overall budget.

The fiscal 2020 spending bill Trump just signed provides $72.8 billion in discretionary funding to the Education Department, a $1.3 billion increase that stands in stark contrast to the 10 percent cut Trump proposed in his blueprint from March. The spending bill he signed includes a $450 million increase for Title I spending on disadvantaged students, a $410 million increase for state special education grants, and more money for programs covering academic enrichment and educator training.

You might remember that as part of that proposed 10 percent cut, the Trump administration sought to eliminate 29 programs that received nearly $6.7 billion in federal aid. These programs focused on Alaska Native Education, the Special Olympics (remember all that controversy?), and statewide data systems, among other areas.

It turns out that all 29 of those programs have kept their funding in the Education Department spending bill the president just signed. And some of them, like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (which supports after-school programs), are getting more money than they got last year.

Need a refresher on the programs Trump wanted to eliminate? Here’s the original list from his fiscal 2020 budget blueprint:

For a detailed breakdown of what’s in the Education Department’s new budget, see the chart below:

Photo: Then President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary, at a Michigan rally in December 2016. (Andrew Harnik/AP)