Will Teacher Programs Be Scrapped in Federal Budget?

By Stephen Sawchuk — January 27, 2010 1 min read
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There are many teacher implications to this Washington Post exclusive on the federal budget. (More here from Alyson Klein at Politics K-12.) President Obama’s 2010 budget request will apparently include some new funds for education, but will also collapse the number of federal K-12 ed programs from 38 to 11 and eliminate six programs altogether.

Translation: Overall education spending will go up. But it might not be going to the teacher programs, and the one you depend on may be going buh-bye.

Practically all of the federal education programs, to one extent or another, affect teachers, but there are quite a few that are specifically focused on educators. The ones I can think of just off the top of my head include the Title II state teacher quality grants, a flexible teacher-oriented funding stream that mainly supports professional development and class size reduction; the Teacher Incentive Fund, a program that seeds teacher and principal performance-based compensation; Troops to Teachers and Transition to Teaching, two programs that help career-changers enter the classrooms; Education Technology and Math and Science Partnerships, two programs that support professional development; the Teacher Quality Partnership grants, which supports teacher preparation and “residency” programs; and support for advanced certification, such as through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

If I were a betting man, I’d expect the administration to preserve and expand the TIF, which is one of its vehicles for promoting teacher effectiveness. I suspect the TQP program will also stay about the same, because as a senator, Obama supported language to rework the program that ultimately got put into effect in the 2008 Higher Education Act renewal. And I would anticipate something happening to Title II, given the tidbits Arne Duncan mentioned in our recent interview with the EdSec.

I’ll be sure to comb through all this when we see the details and do an updated post once I know what’s what. But keep in mind that, even if the budget zeroes out, consolidates or tweaks some of these programs, all of that has to go through Congress. And every federal program, no matter its size, has one or two ardent defenders on Capitol Hill.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.