On April 10, 2013, the Obama administration released its 2014 fiscal-year budget proposal, which provides $71 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education — an increase of $3.1 billion, or 4.6 percent above the 2012 enacted level (pre-sequester). TCTA’s Washington, D.C., lobby firm provided the following highlights of the proposal, which must now go to Congress for approval. The majority of the funding in this budget will affect the 2014-15 school year.

Education funding highlights

 

Title I and IDEA grants

The budget provides $14.5 billion for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I grants as well as the following IDEA grants. These programs and other key formula-based grant programs are requested to be funded at 2012 fiscal-year (pre-sequester) levels.

  • IDEA Part B grants to states ($11.6 billion) – These formula grants support states and districts in providing special education and related services to students with disabilities.
  • IDEA Part C grants for infants and families ($463 million) – These formula grants help states implement statewide systems of early intervention services to assist all eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities (from birth through age 2) and their families.
  • IDEA Part B preschool grants ($373 million) – These formula grants help states provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to all children with disabilities ages 3 through 5.
  • National Activities under IDEA ($236 million) – These funds would be used to improve services and supports for children with disabilities and advance the field through funding for technical assistance, personnel development and preparation, parent information centers, and educational technology, media and materials.

Teachers and principals

  • Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund ($400 million) – This program would provide competitive grants to states and districts to “reform teacher and school leader compensation and career advancement systems, enhance the use of evaluation systems, improve hiring and placement practices, and implement other innovative strategies to strengthen the teaching workforce.”
  • The RESPECT Project ($5 billion) – The budget proposes a one-time mandatory investment in the Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching (RESPECT) Project, to support states and districts that commit to comprehensive reforms to “transform the teaching profession.” Note: This program was also requested last year and not funded.
  • Title II grants ($2.5 billion) – The budget proposal would set aside 25 percent ($617 million) of Title II funds for competitive grants to support and expand high-quality teacher training programs, programs that prepare principals to turn around low-performing schools, and state efforts to enhance the teaching profession.
  • School Leadership Program ($98 million) – The budget proposal would more than triple the investment in the School Leadership Program (SLP), which provides funds for school leader preparation and professional development.
  • Presidential Teaching Fellows ($190 million) – This initiative would provide scholarships to students in top-tier teacher preparation programs who commit to teaching in high-need schools and subjects.

School safety

The budget provides new funds for three programs:

  • $50 million for School Climate Transformation Grants
  • $30 million for improved emergency management planning
  • $25 million for Project Prevent grants to help districts in communities with pervasive violence to break the cycle of violence

Additional school safety funding would go to other agencies, including a $130-million initiative by the Department of Health and Human Services that would provide:

  • $55 million to train educators and others to recognize the signs of mental illness early
  • $50 million to train new mental health professionals
  • $25 million to help adults 16 to 25 access mental health services

The Department of Justice has requested $440 million for community policing, a portion of which could be used to hire school mental health professionals and school resource officers.

Read more highlights of the budget proposal related to STEM, college financial aid, charter schools and much more.

Read the USDE’s press release on the 2014 budget release.

Read Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's April 17 testimony before Congress about the budget proposal.