President Obama releases 2017 budget proposal

President Barack Obama released his fiscal year 2017 budget request to Congress today—the eighth and final of his presidency—which includes investments to improve academic achievement, empower students with the computer science skills needed for a 21st century economy, and expand access to high-quality preschool.

In particular, part of his $4.1 trillion proposal is committed to Title I and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants—or special education funds—to states.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) acknowledges the administration’s efforts to sustain and increase investments in these key programs, among others.

The proposed investment in Title I, including the increased amount directed to interventions and support for schools in need of improvement, is welcome, as our states and school districts develop new plans to advance academic achievement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Conversely, the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed investment in IDEA Part B grants doesn’t reflect the amount promised when the law was initially enacted, nor is it commensurate with the needs and services that our nation’s school districts provide for the more than 6.5 million students who are educated through the program. These grants are essentially frozen at the current level of $11.9 billion for FY 2017.

Additionally, NSBA urges Congress to maximize the investment in the Impact Aid Program—which provides essential funding to districts with tax-exempt federal properties within their jurisdictions—including that for federal properties payments. Approximately 1,400 school districts receive critical support through Impact Aid.

Specifically, President Obama’s FY 2017 budget proposes the following education investments:

  • $4 billion in mandatory funding over three years for the new Computer Science for All initiative.
  • A $450 million increase in Title I grants for disadvantaged students, which help support student achievement efforts at roughly 90 percent of the 14,000 school districts across the country.
  • A $434 million increase for Head Start.
  • $125 million for a new Teacher and Principal Pathways program.
  • An $80 million increase in IDEA Preschool Grants.
  • A $63 million increase in English Language Acquisition grants.
  • A $55 million increase in the Promise Neighborhoods program.
  • $35 million for school kitchen equipment grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 President's FY 2017 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Education view here.

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