In the President’s FY19 Budget Request, we see both reasons for hope and areas of concern. We are pleased to see that Title I and IDEA are, at a minimum, maintained at their current level of funding, as these programs provide critical support for students from low-income families and students with disabilities. We are also thankful for the $500 million request to grow the Charter Schools Program – especially the Replication and Expansion Grant competition, which will allow for the much-needed expansion of high-quality charter schools with a proven track record of success.
At the same time, we are concerned with proposed cuts to federal programs that are vital for thriving public schools. These include programs like Title II’s SEED grants and AmeriCorps, which are vital for finding and preparing the next generation of public school teachers. And the budget proposes substantial cuts to social services that low-income families across the country rely on.
We also want to underscore the importance of increases to higher education funding for first-generation college students. We are grateful that the President’s budget request maintains the overall investment and maximum grant award for Pell Grants, however this amount still represents a small fraction of the average college tuition in the US. We also applaud that the President’s budget proposes common sense policy changes to modernize the Federal Work-Study by more closely targeting these funds to Pell-eligible students and ensuring that opportunities are career or academically relevant. And at the same time, we are concerned with funding cuts proposed to the Federal Work-Study program which prevent these much-needed reforms from being fully utilized by those same students. As the budget process moves forward we urge Congress to strengthen both programs through increased investment critical for ensuring that students from underrepresented backgrounds have a fair shot at a college degree.
The President’s budget proposal is a starting point, and we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to enact a final budget that provides for the health and well-being of all young people.
Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
Aspire Public Schools
Blackstone Valley Prep
Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
DSST Public Schools
Gestalt Community Schools
Green Dot Public Schools
IDEA Public Schools
Inspire NOLA Charter Schools
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Rocketship Public Schools
Rocky Mountain Prep
YES Prep Public Schools