Highlights from the President's FY17 Department of Education Budget Request
Enacted FY16 funding is used for comparisons, unless otherwise noted.
The president’s FY17 proposed budget would allocate $69.4 billion in discretionary funding (1.6 percent increase) for the Department of Education. Priority areas addressed in the budget proposal include increasing equity and excellence in education, providing additional support for teachers and school leaders, and expanding access, affordability, and completion in higher education.
To support high-quality early learning, the president’s proposed budget includes $1.3 billion in mandatory funding to launch the 10-year, $75 billion Preschool for All program, which guarantees universal preschool access to every 4-year-old from low- and moderate-income families and creates incentives for states to serve additional children from middle-class families. The most notable of the president’s proposed funds for higher education are around the America’s College Promise Initiative, which would allocate $1.3 billion in FY17 to support 2 years of community college free for responsible students.
Under Elementary and Secondary Education, the proposed budget would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), which would eliminate many of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and reauthorize the ESEA. In total, $24 billion in discretionary funding would go toward ESEA programming, a decrease of 0.4 percent. Notable programs funded under the reauthorized ESEA include:
- $10 million to establish a STEM Master Teacher Corps, helping states create leadership pathways for excellent STEM educators to improve STEM teaching and learning;
- $80 million for Next Generation High Schools, seeking to transform the high school experience by focusing on improved readiness for postsecondary education and careers in STEM fields, particularly for student groups that have historically been underrepresented in these fields;
- $2 billion in mandatory funding for the Computer Science for All program, providing $4 billion over three years to stimulate and advance comprehensive state efforts to offer computer science, STEM, and other rigorous coursework to all students;
- $100 million in discretionary spending as a companion to the Computer Science for All program, helping to jumpstart improved access to computer science and related STEM coursework in districts;
- $180 million (50 percent increase) for the Education Innovation and Research Program, supporting innovative and proven approaches that address persistent educational challenges; and,
- $1 billion in one-time mandatory funding for the RESPECT: Best Job in the World Initiative, supporting a nationwide effort to dramatically change the ability of high-needs schools to attract and retain talented teachers by awarding competitive grants to state educational agencies;
The budget would allocate $31 billion (9.5 percent increase) for Pell Grants, with $22.5 billion in the form of discretionary funding (no change from FY16). This amount includes $1.3 billion in FY17 for Pell for Accelerated Completion grants which allow full-time students an opportunity to earn a third semester of Pell Grants in an academic year, and $689 million for an increase in Pell Grants for students taking at least 15 credits in a semester. Additional funds for new higher education programs under the president’s proposed budget include:
- $125 million for the Teacher and Principal Pathways program, designed to help institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations carry out the work of teacher and principal preparation;
- $100 million in discretionary funding for the First in the World program, providing competitive awards to support the development, validation, and scaling up of innovative, promising, and evidence-based strategies to improve postsecondary completion rates for high-need students;
- $30 million for the HBCU and MSI Innovation for Completion Fund, a new competitive grant program that seeks to foster innovative, evidence-based, student-centered strategies and interventions that increase the number of low-income students and students of color completing degree programs;
Additionally, $900 million (no change from FY16 enacted) would be allocated for Federal TRIO Programs, supporting college preparation and completion activities. Of this amount, up to $20 million would be used to support a new TRIO Demonstration Initiative, an opportunity for existing grantees to compete for increased funding to implement and evaluate additional evidence-based college access and success strategies.
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