Educators apprehensive about budget which piles new mid-year cuts on top of reductions already proposed for fiscal 2018
“The California School Boards Association is deeply concerned about the Trump Administration’s plan to slash federal education spending. The $9.2 billion in cuts for the upcoming fiscal year was bad enough, but proposing an additional $3 billion in surprise mid-year cuts is particularly worrisome,” said CSBA President Susan Henry. “These reductions target funds marked for important teacher training and class-size reduction programs that improve student learning and teacher quality , areas where we need to invest more resources, not cut funding.”
On Tuesday, March 28, the Trump administration called for a $3 billion reduction to the U.S. Department of Education’s budget for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year. This reduction comes in addition to the proposed $9.2 billion decrease to education funding for next year. The “skinny budget” presented by the Trump Administration aims to slice Title II, Part A funding in half for the rest of this year before completely eradicating the $2.4 billion program next year. Title II, Part A, the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, is a vital source of funding for teacher and principal professional development and programs focused on class size reduction.
Other proposed cuts will impair grant programs that support elementary and secondary school counseling, physical education programs, and math, science and literacy instruction. In addition to the Department of Education, the new fiscal plan also slashes funding to other government agencies that affect education such as NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As the budget process gets underway, CSBA will be monitoring other federal programs that are of importance to California schools, such as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, the School Medicaid Administrative program, and access to E-Rate funding for internet connectivity.
“CSBA is committed to fighting against cuts to public education funding and to preserving initiatives focused on teacher quality and creating conditions conducive to high levels of student learning,” Henry said. “It’s critical that we put an end to the aspects of the administration’s budget proposal that threaten our efforts to prepare students for civil society and an increasingly competitive economy.”[