Amid Talk of Cuts, Funding for Education Continues to Grow

Press Release
Mar 21, 2019
Stamford, CT, March 21, 2019 — President Donald Trump in March proposed a budget for fiscal year 2020 that would cut 29 Department of Education programs and reduce discretionary appropriations for the Department to $64 billion, a 10% decrease from the $71.1 billion in fiscal 2019 discretionary funding. However, the proposed 2020 budget likely is little more than a political document giving voice to the priorities of the Trump administration.

“The Trump education recommendations largely match those proposed in initial budgets for fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019 and likely will meet the same fate of being ignored when Congress allocates funds,” said Karen Meaney, a senior analyst in Simba Information’s Education Group and primary author of that group’s new report PreK-12 Policy & Budget Outlook, 2019-2020.

PreK-12 Policy & Budget Outlook, 2019-2020 outlines how Presidents of both parties annually recommend eliminating some programs when they submit a budget proposal, but almost all established programs receive some funding to continue. Discretionary spending for the Department of Education has risen from $17.1 billion in fiscal year 1989 to $71.1 billion in fiscal 2019.

Meanwhile at the state level, fiscal 2019 broadly was a year of revenue growth and modest spending increases. An early look at the state budgets being proposed for fiscal 2020, also included in PreK-12 Policy & Budget Outlook, 2019-2020, indicates increased funding for education is included in many governors’ proposals, most notably in some of the states with the largest populations.

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