Making Sense of the Federal Education Budget
On March 23, Congress approved, and President Trump signed, a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2018.
This funding bill wasn’t easy to come by—it took several short-term extensions to fund the government, as well as a two-year deal on the overall budget caps.
The Rodel team combed through the budget lines pertaining to education and considered what it might mean to Delaware.
In Early Care and Education:
Federal budget: A $2.4 billion increase to Child Development Block Grant (for a total of $5.2 billion)
What it means for Delaware: This will mean about $6.4 million in flexible spending to Delaware. The Delaware Early Childhood Council will inform how it gets spent.
Federal budget: A $610 million (or seven percent) increase of to Head Start (for a total of $9.9 billion)
What it means for Delaware: Early childhood programs that help low-income families access daycare will get a boost.
In K-12 Wraparound Supports:
Federal budget: A $700 million increase for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (for a total of $1.1 billion)
What it means for Delaware: Additional funding will be available through Title IV block grants. The grants developed under ESSA provide states with a flexible way to spend federal dollars to help students receive a well-rounded education. Funding could be used to improve school climate and culture, promote effective use of technology, to support school counseling, mental health, and safety. In Delaware’s ESSA plan, the state aims to use Title IV Part A funds to offer technical assistance and training to districts and charters for academic enrichment and student support programs.
Federal budget: A $20 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (afterschool programs) (up to $1.2 billion)
What it means for Delaware: Delaware will be eligible for additional grant funding to support things like homework assistance, meals, and academic enrichment activities. Delaware has a number of these programs running across the state, providing before- and after-school activities, including remedial education, tutoring services, counseling, and programs for at-risk students.
In Higher Education:
Federal budget: Sufficient funding to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $175 for a total of $6,095; $107 million (10-percent) funding increase for Federal Work-Study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (for a total of $840 million)
What it means for Delaware: These increases will help make college more affordable for low-income students, helping to address inequities.
Federal budget: $60 million increase for TRIO, for a total of $1.01 billion and $10 million increase for GEAR UP college preparation programs for a total of $350 million
What it means for Delaware: Delaware will be eligible for additional competitive funding available for programming designed to support low-income, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress from middle school through postsecondary and career.
Federal budget: $350 million for a new discretionary relief fund for borrowers to receive public service loan forgiveness
What it means for Delaware: This temporary expansion of the relief fund program is intended to reach individuals who would have otherwise been eligible for the program (which allows eligible borrowers to earn loan forgiveness by working in public service and by making 120 qualifying payments) but were not enrolled in a qualifying repayment program.
In Workforce Development:
Federal budget: $75 million increase in career and technical education (CTE) state grants under the Carl Perkins Act
What it means for Delaware: This increase to support CTE programs will be allocated to states based on the federal-to-state formula.
Federal budget: $145 million for Apprenticeship Grants, a $50 million increase
What it means for Delaware: These dollars represent competitive funding that Delaware could apply for, which would help expand the types and availability of registered apprenticeship programs available for Delaware residents.
Federal budget: $2.8 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grants to states, an $80 million increase
What it means for Delaware: Additional funding will be available through state formula grants for adult programs, youth programs, and dislocated worker programs. The in-school and out-of-school youth funds can be used to support youth with one or more barriers to employment to prepare for post-secondary education and employment opportunities, attain educational and/or skills training credentials, and secure employment.