A President’s federal budget proposal is a always statement of the President’s priorities. It is released in the spring, after which time Congress is expected to consider and vote on the priorities before the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year (FY) when the budget will go into effect. But this year, as you may have noticed, stuff continues to be all jammed up in Congress.
The budget for the current fiscal year, the FY 2022 federal budget, was proposed by President Biden over a year ago. But Congress kept putting off voting on it and instead passing a succession of what are known as continuing resolutions. Congress finally passed, and the President signed the FY 2022 federal budget last month—on March 15, to be exact, nearly half a year into the fiscal year to which it applies. This blog covered the recently enacted FY 2022 K-12 public education budget here.
Then at on March 28, the President released his proposed FY 2023 federal budget—his wish list for spending for next fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2022. There has been very little reporting on the newly proposed budget. The primary components of Biden’s proposal, however, indicate that the President’s support for public K-12 public education remains strong. The proposed FY 2023 budget includes increased appropriations for key K-12 programs with an emphasis on increasing the opportunity to learn for populations of students who have historically been left behind across the states.
For the Washington Post, Moriah Balingit and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel summarize the spending priorities in Biden’s Education Department budget overall—including higher education:
“The budget proposal released Monday for fiscal year 2023 comes just 18 days after Congress approved a spending package that significantly pared back the president’s ambitions for education—while still delivering historic increases to key programs. This year’s proposal… (seeks) to increase funding for the Education Department to $88.3 billion. That’s a 16 percent increase when compared with the spending package (for FY 2022) signed into law this month. The White House is asking Congress to double funds for high-poverty schools (and) boost special education funding by 25 percent…. The proposal also includes $100 million for a new program to encourage racial and socioeconomic school integration, and adds $30 million to the Office for Civil Rights.”
Here, from President Biden’s FY 2023 budget proposal, is what the President proposes to spend for several key K-12 public school programs in FY 2023 compared to FY 2022 spending recently signed into law.
- The President proposes to increase Title I spending from $17.5 billion to $36.5 billion.
- Funding for IDEA grants would grow from $13.3 billion to $16.3 billion.
- Funding for Full-Service Community Schools would grow from $75 million to $468 million.
- Federal Charter Schools Program dollars would be frozen from FY22 to FY23 at $440 million.
In the reports I have been able to find, the names differ from year to year for budget lines for programs to support the health and well-being of students, add more counselors and mental health professionals, and support social and emotional learning. The President proposes to increase funding in FY 2023 for these programs that are urgently needed as schools help students cope with the disruption of COVID 19. The President proposes to increase the allocation for educating English language learners to $1.1 billion. K-12 Dive reports that the President wants to add $514 million to recruit and train teachers. Additionally the President proposes to increase funding for the Office for Civil Rights by 23 percent to $161 million. Head Start funding, which falls in the Department of Health and Human services would increase to $12.2 billion.
Although many advocates for public schools hoped the President would propose to cut the allocation for the federal Charter Schools Program, this budget line is flat-funded at $440 million. However, the Department of Education posted a Federal Register notice last week to strengthen oversight of this notoriously poorly regulated program. The first of the new rules would require that charter schools asking for startup funding from the Charter Schools Program conduct and report a community impact study showing that the new school is needed in the community, that its presence will neither undermine existing schools nor the neighborhood, and that the school will not promote racial segregation. The second important new rule would make nonprofit charter schools which are operated under sweeps contracts by for-profit charter management organizations ineligible to qualify for grants from the Charter Schools Program. These urgently important rules are posted for comments until April 13. Please do send a comment yourself. Here is how to do it.