President's FY 2013 Education Budget


A Summary of The President’s FY 2013 Education Budget


By Fritz Edelstein


This year’s budget is further complicated given it is a Presidential election. Some believe the budget is more of a campaign document than a budget that addresses the economic and deficit issues facing the nation. So, it is unlikely that any education appropriations bill will be completed until sometime in 2013 and that will depend on the make-up of the new Congress in January 2013.


It is very likely that there will be budget sequestration, because deficit reduction targets will not be met, and by the end of the fiscal year there will not be an agreed upon an education appropriation. Therefore, education program funds would be cut by 9 per cent, which has severe implications to state and local education budgets and loss of services and jobs. The Department has yet to release its analysis of what this means.


On Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, President Obama announced his FY 2013 Federal budget. The President’s total budget proposes nearly $1.6 trillion in net new revenue, over $360 billion in health savings, and about $270 billion in other mandatory savings through 2022, along with $350 billion of jobs measures. It also claims about $850 billion in savings from unwinding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $230 billion of which is used for highway funding.


The President requests $69.8 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, a $1.7 billion increase over FY 2012 for discretionary spending. In addition to sustaining the State and local K-12 reform momentum created by initiatives like Race to the Top and i3, the 2013 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education is focused on three new priorities: (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.


During this year’s education budget briefing, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan posed an important question that sets the stage for the upcoming education policy and budget discussions: “Is Education an Expense or an Investment?” What do you think?


The key budget proposals by priority follow plus some of the other important program budget requests:


Improving Affordability and Quality in Postsecondary Education

·        $1 billion for the first year of Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion to drive systemic State reforms that simultaneously lead to increased affordability, quality and productivity.

·        Expanding and reforming the Campus-Based Aid programs, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Work-Study, and Perkins Loans, to provide $10 billion in student financial aid for use at those colleges that provide the best value to students by enrolling and graduating students from low-income families, restraining net prices, and demonstrating good value. The request includes a $150 million increase for Federal Work-Study.

·        $55.5 million for a “First in the World” fund that would help postsecondary institutions, including private institutions and nonprofit organizations, to develop, evaluate, or scale up innovative and effective strategies for improving college completion outcomes while lowering costs and increasing the quality and capacity of higher education.


Elevating the Teaching Profession

·        $5 billion in one-time funding through the American Jobs Act for a new initiative to strengthen the education profession. The initiative would provide support to States and districts to pursue bold reforms at every stage of the profession.

·        A new 25-percent set-aside of Effective Teachers and Leaders State Grant funds under Title II of the ESEA to support efforts to build evidence on how to best recruit, train, and support effective teachers and school leaders.

·        $190 million in mandatory funding for a new Presidential Teaching Fellows program that would make formula grants to States that meet certain conditions to award scholarships of up to $10,000 to talented individuals attending the most effective programs in the State.


Aligning Job Training and Education Programs with Workforce Demands

·        $8 billion over 3 years for a community college initiative, jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Labor, to improve access to job training across the Nation, and support State and community college partnerships with businesses to build the skills of American workers.

·        $1 billion over three years to expand Career Academies and increase the number of students served by this strategy.

·        $1.1 billion to support the reauthorization and reform of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program including the Administration’s reauthorization proposal (to be announced soon) to restructure CTE and increase the rigor and relevance of what students learn in school to more closely align with the demands of the 21st century economy and workforce, while creating stronger linkages between secondary and postsecondary education.


Key Program Funding in the Department’s FY 2013 Request

The 2013 request reflects the Administration’s longstanding commitment to transform our education system while continuing to help States, communities, school districts, schools, and postsecondary institutions meet the needs of all students. These investments are structured around the following policy themes


Promoting Innovation

·        $850 million for additional Race to the Top awards, an increase of $301 million over the 2012 level, to support comprehensive State and local reforms and innovations designed to close achievement gaps and produce significant improvements in student achievement, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment rates for all students. The request includes funding for the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge.

·        $150 million for the Investing in Innovation (i3) program for new competitive awards to develop, evaluate, and scale up evidence-based approaches that improve pre-K through grade 12 achievement and close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, and improve teacher and school leader effectiveness. A portion of funds from i3 also would be used to support the development of breakthrough learning technologies through a new Advanced Research Projects Agency—Education (ARPA-ED)

·        $255 million for Expanding Educational Options is requested to support the creation and expansion of effective charter schools and other effective autonomous schools.


Meeting the Full Range of Student Needs

·        $100 million for Promise Neighborhoods is an increase of $40.1 million.

·        $195.9 million for Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students, a new competitive grant program under the Administration’s ESEA reauthorization proposal, to carry out strategies designed to improve the physical and mental health of students; reduce or prevent drug use, alcohol use, bullying, harassment, or violence; and collect and report better information on school climate and student safety.


Improving STEM Education

·        $149.7 million for Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM, which would replace the current Mathematics and Science Partnerships program.

·        $80 million for STEM teacher and leader training and professional development, funded through a set aside from the Effective Teachers and Leaders program, to support the President’s goal of preparing 100,000 effective STEM teachers over the next decade.

·        $30 million in the Fund for the Improvement of Education, combined with $30 million from the National Science Foundation, to support the development and implementation of a robust, evidence-based K-12 STEM initiative as well as efforts to improve the evidence base for STEM programs across the Federal Government. This includes $5 million for grants for disconnected youth.


Supporting Early Learning

·        $462.7 million for the Grants for Infants and Families program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), an increase of $20 million over the 2012 level,

·        $372.6 million for IDEA Preschool Grants to help States provide a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to all children with disabilities ages 3 through 5.


All Students College- and Career-Ready

·        $30 million for PROMISE: Promoting Readiness of Minors in SSI, an increase of $28 million to expand pilot demonstration programs in selected States to improve the health, educational attainment, and employment outcomes for children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.


The following programs are proposed for same level of funding as FY 2012: Title I, Part A, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, School Turnaround Grants, Assessing Achievement, Special Education Grants to States, English Learner Education, Title I Migrant Education, and Neglected and Delinquent Children and Youth Education, Federal TRIO programs and GEAR UP


College Access and Completion

·        $5,635 maximum Pell Grant award supported by a total request of $36.1 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding to provide Pell Grants to nearly 10 million postsecondary students.

·        Making the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent to continue to provide a partially refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 over 4 years to almost nine million taxpayers. The tax credit currently is scheduled to expire in 2012.

·        Keeping interest rates low on postsecondary student loans by suspending for 1 year a scheduled increase under current law that would double rates on subsidized Stafford loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

·        $81.3 million for College Pathways and Accelerated Learning, a new authority under the Administration’s ESEA reauthorization proposal designed to increase graduation rates and preparation for college matriculation and success by providing college-level and other accelerated courses and instruction in high-poverty middle and high schools, including Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) courses, dual-enrollment programs, and “early college high schools.


Aligning Programs for Adult Learners and Individuals with Disabilities with Workforce Demands

·        $3.2 billion for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Grants to help States and tribal governments increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. The requested $45.7 million increase over 2012 includes $35.7 million that would be made available from the consolidation of the smaller VR-related programs under the Rehabilitation Act in order to reduce duplication of effort and administrative costs.


Identifying Effective Practices and Increasing Transparency

The Administration is seeking a total of $760.5 million, an increase of $101.5 million, or 15 percent, to support the Department of Education’s longstanding role in sponsoring education research and development activities, gathering and making available a wide range of data on our education system, and measuring the performance of American students.

·        $202.3 million for Research, Development, and Dissemination is an increase of $12.5 million over the 2012 level.

·        $114.7 million for NCES is an increase of $6 million over the 2012 level. The increase would be used to support State participation in a pilot Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) study to allow States to benchmark the performance of their 15-year-old students against international standards.

·        $132.3 million for NAEP is a decrease of $6 million from the 2012 level.

·           $53.1 million for Statewide Data Systems, an increase of $15 million over the 2012 level, to help States develop enhanced longitudinal student data systems that track student progress from early childhood to entry into the workforce. The proposed increase would support postsecondary data initiatives designed to improve information on students as they progress from high school to postsecondary education and the workforce.


For complete information on the US Department of Education proposed FY 2013 budget go to:


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About the Author

Fritz Edelstein is a principal in Public Private Action. His work focuses on strategic government and constituent relations, business development strategy, advocacy research and policy analysis, strategic planning and resource development, and advocacy, outreach and public engagement. This work includes producing Fritzwire, the education Internet newsletter providing timely information on education and related issues. To subscribe, write [email protected].