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Obama Releases Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

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February 13, 2012 07:43 pm

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Released this morning at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2013 proposes $47 billion in discretionary spending (excluding Pell Grants) for the U.S. Department of Education, an increase of 3.8 percent over the current funding level of $45.3 billion.

“We … know that education and lifelong learning will be critical for anyone trying to compete for the jobs of the future,” Obama wrote in the message that accompanied the budget. “That is why I will continue to make education a national mission. What one learns will have a big impact on what he or she earns: the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is only about half the national average, and the incomes of college graduates are twice as high as those without a high school diploma.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Summary and Background Information document, the three major initiatives for Fiscal Year 2013 are (1) improving affordability and quality in postsecondary education; (2) elevating the teaching profession to the same high status it enjoys in nations with the highest-performing education systems, and (3) strengthening the connections between school and work and better aligning job training programs with workforce demands.

“In these tough budget times, the Obama Administration is making a clear statement that high-quality education is absolutely critical to rebuilding our economy,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “If we want to strengthen the American workforce, we must continue to invest in education.”

The president’s budget would keep spending for Title I at its current level of $14.5 billion. School Turnaround Grants would receive $534 million, also the same as current funding. Striving Readers, which currently receives $160 million, would be consolidated along with Ready-to-learn television into a new “Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy” program. Similarly, the High School Graduation Initiative and the Advanced Placement program would be consolidated into a new “College Pathways and Accelerated Learning” program. In total, the president’s budget would consolidate thirty-eight education program into eleven new grant programs “designed to give states and districts more flexibility to use resources where they will have the greatest impact.”

Proposed funding levels for every education program are available from the U.S. Department of Education. [Photo via Washington Post]

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