President Donald J. Trump has released his proposed budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018 on whitehouse.gov.
This budget proposal includes a $59 billion appropriation to the Department of Education. This appropriation is 13 percent less than the 2017 appropriation – a $9 billion decrease.
Trump is decreasing funding in not only the Department of Education, but essentially every other department as well. He is proposing this in order to increase funding for defense and military spending by $54 billion, as well as to try and reduce the national debt.
The budget cut for the Department of Education will affect schools of every level across the country, including universities.
The decrease in funding for the Department of Education will not only impact ETSU itself, but will impact the students as well, especially students who pay tuition with the help of federal grants.
Most notably, the Pell Grant received a $3.9 billion decrease as compared to 2017’s allocation. The Pell Grant is a subsidy from the U.S government for students from low income families. The Pell Grant differs from a loan in that it does not have to be paid back.
The Education Trust, a national non-profit advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels, particularly for students of color and low-income students, compiles Pell Grant data for universities. According to the Trust’s report in the 2012-13 academic year, 43.7 percent of students at ETSU were recipients of the Pell Grant. ETSU students received a total of about $22.7 million from the Pell Grant in that academic year.
Needless to say, the Pell Grant appropriation being decreased by such a significant figure could potentially affect students who come from low income families.
President Trump’s budget blueprint goes on to say the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant program, a less well targeted way to deliver need-based aid than the Pell Grant program, will be eliminated. This program received $732 million from the federal budget in 2017.
The budget blueprint also mentions the Federal Work-Study Program will be reduced and reformed, as Trump believes the allocation is poorly-targeted, and he wants to ensure the funds go to the undergraduate students who would benefit from it the most.
President Trump and his budget director Mick Mulvaney end the budget blueprint for the Department of Education by saying they will be eliminating or reducing over 20 categorical programs that do not address national needs, duplicate other programs or are more appropriately supported with state, local or private funds.
These cuts include Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property and International Education programs.
For more information pertaining to the proposed budget check out https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf.