The administration’s proposal includes cuts to federal aid programs and increased funding for school choice.
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.
The budget proposal also calls for around $200 million in cuts to federal TRIO programs, which benefit low-income, first-generation, and disabled students, and GEAR UP, a program that helps prepare low-income middle and high-school students for college.
Pell Grants are safe for now. They retain their $22.5 billion in discretionary funds, although the budget proposes $3.9 billion in cuts from the program’s $10.6 billion surplus. Many Republicans and Democrats anticipated this surplus funding would go toward helping students attend summer school.
The new budget also ensures that students with disabilities have continued access to special education by maintaining $13 billion in funding for IDEA programs. Furthermore, the administration will offer $492 million in funding for minority institutions and historically black colleges—a similar, yet slightly smaller, sum than was previously allotted.