Fact Sheet: Trump Budget Proposal Boosts School Choice, Cuts Student Aid

President Trump Thursday morning released a $1.15 trillion budget proposal that cuts the United States Department of Education’s $68 billion budget by $9.2 billion (or 13.5 percent) down to $59 billion and fulfills his campaign promises of increasing federal investment in school choice programs.

The budget blueprint, called “America First,” increases investments in public and private school choice by $1.4 billion, boosting the total to $20 billion (with an estimated total of $100 billion including matching state and local funds). This investment includes a $168 million increase specifically for charter schools; $250 million for a new private school program; and a $1 billion boost for Title I.

The outline broke out just two programs that would continue to be funded at current levels, including $13 billion for IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) programs, which support students with special education needs. The Federal Pell Grant program will be “on sound footing for the next decade” with level-funding being introduced, according to the plan. (But there will be “a cancellation of the $3.9 billion from unobligated carryover funding” out of the surplus.)

However, for the most part Trump’s budget plan restricts federal spending on education programs “that do not address national needs, duplicate other programs, or are more appropriately supported with state, local or private funds.” It eliminates the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, or Title II grants, stating that the program was “poorly targeted and spread thinly across thousands of districts with scant evidence of impact.” The $1.2 billion budget for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs as well as summer programs, will be eliminated for the same reason.

Other programs facing deep cuts:

  • The $732 million Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which gives students up to $4,000 a year for college, would be eliminated.
  • The $808 million Trio and $219 million GEARUP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), two programs that prepare low-income, first-generation and disabled middle and high school students for college, would lose $193 million.

Finally, more than 20 categorical programs would be eliminated or significantly reduced, including:

The full budget outline is available here.