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Education Funding

UPDATED: U.S. Department of Education Budget Numbers Are In

By Alyson Klein — May 07, 2009 2 min read

As I guessed earlier this week, this is all a little less exciting than it usually is, just because so much got done in the stimulus package.

But here are some highlights:

The Title I district grant program is slated to get $12.9 billion, which is actually a little bit lower than the $14.49 billion the program got in fiscal year 2009. Of course, it also received $10 billion in the stimulus.

At first glance, it looks like some of the difference may be due to the fact that Title I dollars have been diverted to some other purposes, including what looks like two brand new Title I programs: $500 million for Early Childhood grants, and $300 million for an Early Learning Challenge Fund. There’s also an additional $50 million for a high school graduation initiative.

UPDATE: School districts are not happy about this. “The dollar amounts that districts build [their budgets] off of has been cut in the President’s budget,” said Mary Kusler, the assistant director of advocacy and policy for the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va. “Districts have already budgeted these dollars. Districts will have to rethink their [stimulus] funds to potentially covering a shortfall in Title I, lessening the potential impact of [the stimulus].”

Special education state grants are slated to get $11.5 billion, the same level as in fiscal year 2009. The program also got $11.3 billion in the stimulus.

The Improving Teacher Quality State grants are slated for $2.9 billion. And it looks like the Teacher Incentive Fund may get a huge boost, bigger than the Bush administration may even have dreamed of. The budget proposes $717 million for the program, which I’m guessing includes the $200 million approved under the stimulus. But that’s still a big increase from just under $100 million in fiscal year 2009.

The budget proposes $1.16 billion for career and technical state grants, which is pretty much level-funding from fiscal year 2009. Two major college-prep programs, TRIO and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate programs, were also level-funded at $905 million and $313 million, respectively.

There’s also a huge boost for school improvement grants to help schools struggling to meet the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. That program, which was financed at $606 million in fiscal year 2009, got an extra $1 billion, plus another $3 billion in the stimulus, for a grand total of $4.6 billion.

If you want the fun of pouring through the budget documents yourself, the Education Department’s Web site is happy to oblige.

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