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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RELEASES FY 2011 FINAL SPENDING TOTALS

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will receive $45.4 billion in discretionary federal funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 based on the spending plan that ED submitted to Congress last week. Compared to the previous year, this amount represents a cut of $1.25 billion, or 2.7 percent. Excluding the 0.2 percent across-the-board cut to every program, forty-seven education programs were cut and another thirty-eight were eliminated. Four programs received an increase.

Signed into law on April 15, the long-term continuing resolution (CR) for FY 2011 gave federal agencies wide authority over the final spending levels for programs within their jurisdiction, unless a program was specifically mentioned in the text of the CR. Federal agencies were given thirty days after April 15 to submit their spending plans to Congress.

The only programs to receive an increase under the plan are Race to the Top, which will receive $698.6 million; Investing in Innovation (i3), which will receive $149.7 million; Promise Neighborhoods, which will receive $29.9 million—an increase of $19.9 million; and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, which will receive $200,000.

Among the programs eliminated were Educational Technology State Grants ($100 million), Smaller Learning Communities ($88 million), and the National Writing Project ($26 million). Literacy programs were hit especially hard as funding was eliminated for Striving Readers ($200 million), Even Start ($66 million), and Literacy Through School Libraries ($19 million).

Programs cut beyond the 0.2 percent across-the-board cut include the School Improvement Grants program, which targets the nation’s lowest-performing schools; the High School Graduation Initiative; Statewide Data Systems; Career and Technical Education; GEAR UP and TRIO; Improving Teacher Quality State Grants; and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Funding levels for all education programs are available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget11/11action.pdf.

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