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Daily Dish: Education Highlights from President Obama’s Budget Proposal

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February 10, 2016 02:45 pm

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After the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal, the education world has been quick to dissect the education elements within the budget. Highlights include funding to turn around low-performing schools, support for a competitive grant program to redesign America’s high schools, and a request for a new program to promote greater socioeconomic integration within schools.

In its coverage of the budget, Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog included a breakdown of the increases for programs that were “enshrined” in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), noting that the funds would be available to districts the first year the new law goes into effect, during the 2017-18 school year.  Check out their full budget analysis here: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/02/obamas_last_budget_would_creat.html

The budget also includes a request for funding for “Stronger Together,” a new grant program to improve socioeconomic diversity in schools. More on that program and input from Acting Education Secretary John King in yesterday’s Dish: https://all4ed.org/daily-dish-increasing-diversity-in-schools-to-improve-student-outcomes/.

Politico’s Morning Education did a brief compare and contrast of the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and George W. Bush’s subsequent budget proposal, versus the passage of ESSA and Obama’s budget proposal. President George W. Busk asked for an 11.5 percent increase in education spending in his 2002 budget after NCLB was passed in 2001, whereas Obama requested only a two percent increase to the Education Department in this 2017 budget. Politico’s Caitlin Emma says: “With ESSA focused on expanding state authority and limiting the federal role in education even as Obama tries to build his legacy, that’s not a big surprise – but it is a big difference.”

Alliance for Excellent Education President Gov. Bob Wise praised the Obama administration’s focus on high schools and the continued commitment evident in his 2017 budget, saying: “Throughout his administration, President Obama has made high school reform a priority. In his Fiscal Year 2017 budget, he continues this commitment by proposing a new $80 million Next Generation High Schools program while also setting aside $174 million for turning around low-performing schools, including high schools with graduation rates at or below 67 percent.”

In a statement, Wise emphasized the importance of the attention to low-performing high schools, even at a time when the national high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, explaining that “more than 4,000 students still drop out every school day. Additionally, students of color and students from low-income families continue to graduate from high school at rates much lower than white students.”

He continued: “Ensuring that more African American, Latino, and other students of color, as well as students from low-income families, earn their high school diploma is a critical first step to putting those individuals on a path to success. And because students of color and students from low-income families now represent the majority of the nation’s students, it is also a critical element of a growing national economy.”

Read more about the specifics of the budget and also the Next Generation High Schools program:  https://all4ed.org/articles/stronger-together-president-obamas-final-budget-proposes-new-120-million-program-to-better-integrate-schools-by-income-80-million-for-high-school-redesign/.

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