Although President Trump stayed mum on his plans for the U.S. Department of Education, one policy has been clear: Trump plans to cut nonmilitary spending. The administration’s new “America First” budget, released Thursday, follows through on this promise by slashing funds for the Education Department by 13.5 percent, or $9.2 billion.
It’s worth noting that the proposed budget is merely a blueprint. Congressional lawmakers will draft their own budget proposals, and the plan Congress passes will form the basis of the appropriation bills that fund the government. That, as my colleague Russell Berman pointed out, won’t come until May.
To start, Trump’s budget plan would remove $2.4 billion in grants for teacher training and $1.2 billion in funding for summer- and after-school programs. It also curtails or eliminates funding for around 20 departmental programs “that are not effective, that duplicate other efforts, or that do not serve national needs.”
Although decreased funding for the Education Department will have repercussions for students and educators across the country, low-income students are particularly vulnerable. In addition to eliminating Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), which offer need-based aid to around 1.6 million low-income undergraduates each year, the Trump administration wants to “significantly” reduce Federal Work-Study. Although work-study programs have been criticized for disproportionately aiding private institutions, they are typically successful at helping students graduate and find employment post-college.