Federal Education Funding

On behalf of the nation’s Pre-K–8 principals, NAESP advocates for increased federal investments in education to support programs that benefit schools. While the U.S. Department of Education’s budget comprises only 2 percent of all federal expenditures, federal education funds have a significant impact on the ability of schools to meet the learning needs of students.


To compete in the global economy, the U.S. needs an educated, skilled workforce. But too many of our students are not graduating high school, and businesses report shortages of workers with the skills and knowledge they need to fill job openings.

Studies show that increased spending on education leads to improved student achievement, particularly among low-income students. Yet even as public school enrollment has risen by almost 3 percent and state budgets have tightened, federal funding for elementary and secondary education has just returned to 2008 levels and accounts for only 2 percent of all federal expenditures.

NAESP believes that:

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Financial support for public education must be shared by local, state, and federal governments and that sufficient and equitable funding for public education is necessary to support an educated, skilled workforce that can compete in a global economy;

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Federal funding should be dispersed through targeted formula grants, not competitive grants, because formula grants ensure that federal funds are spent on the most disadvantaged students and districts in need and because they constitute a reliable source of funds for schools;

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Financial support should be increased and that it should be predictable and continuous, with greater building-level authority in the initial allocation, distribution, and use of funds at the school level; and

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District administration must include principals in the determination of how state and federal funds will be allocated.

Take Action

Spending more to train teachers, lower class size, provide safe learning environments, and other targeted strategies works to increase student achievement and decrease achievement gaps, especially in low-income school districts. We support increasing federal education funding to 5 percent of the federal budget.

Visit NAESP’s Advocacy Action Center to see how you can support your students and school.

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