President Obama recently released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 federal budget. Although much of it is subject to change, it serves as a framework for budget negotiations in Congress. Under the proposal, the Department of Education would receive a 2.5 percent increase in funding for programs like Race to the Top and new initiatives to improve college affordability.

An Obama priority, Race to the Top receives an additional $300 million, on top of the $550 million the program will already receive, to carry out a competitive grant program between school districts, and for the Early Learning Challenge Grant program. President Obama also asks for $1 billion in Race to the Top funding to create a new higher education competition to make college more affordable and align college and high school courses.

In the budget proposal, the president also calls on Congress to:

  • Reauthorize ESEA;
  • Maintain the School Improvement Grant program, which includes turnaround models that involve arbitrary firing of principals;
  • Consolidate the School Leadership, Teacher Quality Partnership and Transition to Teacher programs into a Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund with $400 million in funding that would reward strong teaching and support improvements;
  • Maintain Title II funding in ESEA compared to current funding, but devote a quarter of it to competitive grants to enhance the teaching profession;
  • Fund literacy grants for states through Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy;
  • Allocate $30 million in funding for school modernization, as well as funding to retain teachers; and
  • Support a new initiative to train teachers in science, technology, engineering and math.

This budget proposal is the first step in a typically lengthy, complicated negotiation process. NAESP will continue to closely monitor the budget and appropriations process and provide updates on this blog.

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