Press Release

Statement from President and CEO John B. King Jr. on Trump Administration’s FY19 Budget Proposal

“The Trump administration’s budget released today continues a relentless assault on the American Dream with over $3.8 billion in cuts to vital education programs and services that support and protect students and families, especially those most underserved. Through this budget proposal, the administration has revealed that their priorities have not changed — priorities that actively dismantle the nation’s safety net; reverse progress for students of color, low-income students and their families; and jeopardize the nation’s future prosperity.”

“I hope that Congress will reject this proposal and continue on its current path toward funding the government at levels that expand opportunity for more Americans.”

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Ed Trust Budget Breakdown:

Budgets are statements of values. This proposal would take our nation backward. The Trump administration’s budget strives to cut over $3.8 billion from the U.S. Department of Education’s budget by reducing or eliminating vital programs that educate our nation’s young people. If this proposal were enacted, all of our nation’s students from early education to college would suffer and miss out on the skills they need to compete in an ever-changing 21st century economy. At The Education Trust, we’re deeply troubled by the following:

  • Public schools are fundamental to who we are as a country and to the strength of our democracy. The proposal includes millions for a new private school voucher scheme. That funding could instead be used to invest in our public schools, particularly those that predominantly educate low-income students and students of color.
  • States and school districts rely on Title II dollars to make sure that teachers get the support and opportunities for continuous learning they need to adequately prepare students for college and careers. The budget eliminates professional development for our nation’s teachers by scrapping Title II teacher training.
  • Students deserve the right to learn in safe, healthy environments. The budget eliminates funding for after-school and summer programs that are critical and the funding through ESSA that would support well-rounded education.
  • Pell grants are essential for helping students of color and low-income families get the access to a higher education they deserve. However, instead of increasing the maximum award, the budget would reallocate a portion of the mandatory funds for Pell grants to support short-term programs that have not been shown to consistently provide value to students.
  • The federal government’s significant investment in higher education is intended to make college more accessible and affordable for low-income students. Instead, this budget completely cuts over $700 million in grant funding for low-income students to attend college and ends the subsidized loan program, which will significantly increase the debt burden for low-income students. It also cuts $490 million from Federal Work-Study programs, taking away opportunities for students to earn money while in school.
  • Helping students — particularly low-income students — prepare for and go to college is necessary in this economy where two-thirds of new jobs will require postsecondary education. However, the budget cuts these supports with an elimination of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

Just last week, Congress firmly rejected the approach the administration’s budget has taken with its bipartisan deal to invest in programs that provide a critical safety net and expand opportunities for Americans. The President’s budget request is wildly out of step with that forward progress.