Federal

Congress Begins Taking Stock of Education Budget

By Alyson Klein — February 26, 2010 1 min read

Republicans on the House Budget Committee told U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan last week that the Department of Education’s proposed fiscal 2011 budget is too large and could add to the federal deficit. Some Democrats argued that the Obama administration’s plan to increase funding for competitive-grant programs could make it harder for school districts to get needed resources during difficult economic times.

Secretary Duncan, who testified before the panel last week, outlined President Barack Obama’s plans to boost the Education Department’s discretionary budget to $49.7 billion, a roughly 7.5 percent hike over the current fiscal year. That would include at least a $3 billion increase for K-12 programs, much of which would go to competitively awarded grants.

The department’s proposed budget is one winner in what otherwise looks like a lean year for domestic spending. President Obama has pledged to cap discretionary spending unrelated to the military or homeland security.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, asked Mr. Duncan why his department should be an exception to the spending restraints. Mr. Hensarling noted that the budget includes new programs that would be paid for out of the mandatory side of the ledger, such as a prekindergarten program.

“The administration should be putting its emphasis on spurring job creation,” he said. “How does this mountain of debt impact job creation, how is it going to impact educational opportunities in the future?”

Investment Touted

But the secretary said he sees education as an investment in the nation’s economic future.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., asked why the administration wanted to concentrate its increased spending on competitive grants as opposed to those awarded by a formula to school districts meeting certain criteria. She said that could lead districts to divert funding that could be used to pay teacher salaries, for example.

But Mr. Duncan said that the department had proposed level funding for programs such as Title I grants for disadvantaged students, which are slated in the budget for $14.5 billion in fiscal 2011, the same level as this fiscal year.

“Major formula programs are absolutely untouched,” he said. He said putting out more competitive money can help push states and districts to adopt bold policies.

“We’re trying to be creative, trying to have a hybrid” between competitive and formula grants, he said.

A version of this article appeared in the March 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as Congress Begins Taking Stock of Education Budget

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

[2021-2022] Founding Middle School Academic Dean
New York, NY, US
DREAM Charter School
Hiring Bilingual and Special Education Teachers NOW!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
DevOps Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
User Experience Analyst
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Federal Explainer Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education: Background and Achievements
Background and highlights of Miguel Cardona's tenure as the twelfth U.S. Secretary of Education.
Education Week Library
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 23, 2020.
Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, speaks after being put forward for the position by then-President-elect Joe Biden in December 2020.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Federal Senate Confirms Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary
The former Connecticut education commissioner got his start as an elementary school teacher and was a principal and school administrator.
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.
Miguel Cardona was confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education. The former Connecticut education commissioner has worked as a teacher, principal, and district administrator.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Federal Biden Legal Team Steps Back From Trump Stance on Transgender Female Sports Participation
The Education Department's office for civil rights pulls a letter that said Connecticut's transgender-inclusive policy violates Title IX.
4 min read
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn on Feb. 7, 2019. Transgender athletes are getting an ally in the White House next week as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports. Attorneys on both sides say they expect President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education will switch sides in legal battles that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by how they identify.
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in an event in New Haven, Conn. The two transgender athletes are at the center of a legal fight in Connecticut over the participation of transgender female athletes in girls' or women's sports.
Pat Eaton-Robb/AP
Federal Congress Again Tries to Pass Eagles Act, Focused on School Shootings After Parkland
A group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers is once again trying to get a law passed aimed at preventing school violence.
Devoun Cetoute & Carli Teproff, Miami Herald
2 min read
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP