On April 10th, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget proposal. Based on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) budget summary, the Administration is requesting $71.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education in FY 2014, an increase of $3.1 billion, or 4.5 percent, over the FY 2012 enacted level.  Nearly three-quarters of that funding goes to financial aid for students in college, special education, and aid to schools with high numbers of children in poverty (Title I). The remaining 28 percent of the budget invests in specific areas that can move major change – particularly through making preschool accessible for all students; funding a set of strategic reforms at the K-12 level; ensuring that college is affordable; and coordinating services that help students living in poverty.

This proposal is typically released annually in early February – always before Congress approves their own budget outline -- but the tremendous budget uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff and sequestration delayed the president’s proposal by nearly two months. This delay results in the unusual situation of both chambers of Congress approving their own budget resolution before the release of the president’s budget.

With the anticipation of the president’s budget release, the House Labor, Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittees announced a hearing with Secretary Arne Duncan to review the Department of Education budget proposal. The House oversight hearing will be held Thursday, April 11th, at 10:00 AM. On April 17th the Senate will host Secretary Duncan for a similar oversight hearing.

As ED detailed, the 2013 numbers shown below are preliminary and do not reflect either the final 2013 appropriation signed March 26 or the March 1, 2013 sequester required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

At the time the President’s fiscal year 2014 Budget was prepared for submission to the Congress, final action on the fiscal year 2013 appropriations act funding Department of Education programs had not yet been completed. Consequently, the 2014 request assumed that the final 2013 appropriations act would provide funding for Department of Education programs at the same levels as in fiscal year 2012.

The bottom line is that the final 2013 level is approximately 5.23 percent less than the 2012 level, but this final 2013 level is not reflected in the 2014 request.

The 2014 budget request for the Department of Education is focused on six priorities: (1) high-quality early learning opportunities for all children, (2) improving teaching and learning in K-12 education, (3) making our schools safer and creating positive learning environments, (4) career-readiness for all, (5) improving affordability and quality in postsecondary education, and (6) supporting the Administration’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative for high-poverty communities.

Department of Education Discretionary Appropriations

Discretionary Funding (without Pell Grants, in billions of dollars):

FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 Request Change from FY 2012
$45.3 $45.4 $48.4 +$3.1


New Programs

  • $1.3 billion in 2014 and $75 billion over 10 years in mandatory funding for Preschool for All.
  • $750 million for competitively awarded Preschool Development Grants to help build State capacity to implement high-quality preschool programs.
  • $3.0 billion for the new Excellent Instructional Teams program, which would provide both formula grants and competitive awards to help States and LEAs increase the effectiveness of teachers and principals, which includes:
    • $2.5 billion for Effective Teachers and Leaders State Grants to provide flexible, formula-based support for States and LEAs that commit to improving their teacher and principal evaluation systems and ensuring that low-income and minority students have equitable access to teachers and principals who are effective at raising student achievement.
    • $400 million for the Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund, an increase of $100 million, to help States and LEAs improve the effectiveness of teachers and leaders in high-need LEAs and schools.
    • $98 million for a redesigned School Leadership Program (SLP) that would more than triple the Federal investment in training for principals.
  • $190 million in mandatory funding for a new Presidential Teaching Fellows program that would provide formula grants to States to fund scholarships of up to $10,000 for students attending high-performing teacher preparation programs.
  • $265 million in new funding for a comprehensive STEM Innovation proposal to improve the delivery and impact of Federal investments in science and technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
  • $50 million for School Climate Transformation Grants to help create positive school climates that support effective education for all students. Funds would support the use of decision-making frameworks, which research shows can be effective in reducing problem behaviors, decreasing bullying and peer victimization, improving organizational health and perceptions of school as a safe setting.
  • $30 million for improved emergency management planning, providing one-time grants to SEAs to help their LEAs develop, implement, and improve emergency management plans.
  • $25 million for Project Prevent grants to help LEAs in communities with pervasive violence break the cycle of violence.
  • $5 million for Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence).
  • $1 billion for a new Race to the Top–College Affordability and Completion competition.
  President's FY 2014 Budget Change from FY 2012 Appropriated Amount
Title I Grants to LEAs $14.52 billion $0
School turnaround grants $658.6 million     +$125 million
Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property       $1.22 billion        -$67 million
Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy (consolidates Striving Readers, Ready-To-Learn Television)  $186.9 million $0
Rural Education $179 million $0
Promise Neighborhoods $300 million        +$240 million
Race to the Top–College Affordability competition (new) $1 billion +$451 million
Investing in Innovation  (i3)      $215 million +$66 million
21st Century Community Learning Centers $1.3 billion +$100 million
Effective Teachers and Leaders State Grants (consolidates Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, Transitions to Teaching, Teacher Quality Partnership) $2.46 billion --
Teacher and leader Innovation fund (new, consolidates TIF) $400 million +$100 million
School Leadership Program $98 million +$68.9 million
IDEA Part C Grants for infants and families $462.7 million +$20 million
IDEA Part B State Grants $11.6 billion $0
IDEA Preschool Grants $372.6 million $0
Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion (new) $1 billion --
Presidential Teaching Fellows (new) $190 million --
RESPECT project        $5 billion --
School Turnaround Grants      $659 million +$125 million
Statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS)        $85 million +$47 million
School Climate Transformation Grants (new)   $50 million --
Improved Emergency Management Planning (new) $30 million --
Project Prevent grants (new)       $25 million --
Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence)     $5 million --
Preschool for All (new)     $75 billion over 10 years --
Preschool Development Grants (new) $750 million --
Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students (consolidates Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, Physical Education Program, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Activities)   $280 million +$84.1 million
Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education (Formerly Arts in Education) $75 million +$25 million


Find more details on the U.S. Department of Education FY 2014 budget proposal here.


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President Obama's Budget Proposal

I am very glad to see the President's Budget proposal including funding for school leadership and Early Childhood/Pre-K programs.

As principals, we work in an ever changing instructional envioronment. It is essential that school prinicpals have access to the very best professional development. The instructional leader in the building may not be an 'expert' in all subject matter and instructional practices, but we must be educated in the latest best practices in order to support our teachers and monitor the appropriate use of these methods in our classrooms.

Long-term research studies show that one of the best investments is in Pre-K education. School systems across the United States are in many different stages of implementation of Pre-K programs. Leadership and support from the federal level will emphasize the importance of these programs to the long-range academic success of the children who participate.

Realizing that the president's budget proposal is only a part of the process, we need to help our Senators and Representatives see the importance of these types of investments as a huge factor in our nation's economic program.

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