Highlights of the White House Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
On March 16, 2017, the White House released the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget. The upside of this new budget is that the Department of Defense is slated to receive an increase of $30 billion dollars to rebuild military services and the Department of Homeland Security is to receive an additional $3 billion for border protection. The downside is that there are budgetary cuts to other departments that many feel is a cause for concern, especially when it comes to cuts in the social welfare programs. Below is a graphic from the BBC showing how these cuts could affect certain departments:
Per USA Today, there are a minimum of 62 programs and agencies that have cuts and/or could be eliminated. The departments that could be at risk for having the biggest cuts include:
- US. Department of Health and Human Services
- US Department of Education
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development
- US Department of Labor
- US Department of Agriculture
- US Department of Justice
- US Department of Energy
- Environmental Protection Agency
Cuts within these departments may reduce or eliminate assistance to low income families for meal assistance, weather stripping homes for fuel efficiency, education and training of health professionals, funding for housing, and legal aid to low income families.
Those with students in public education, particularly those with low income and/or have special education needs, the cuts to the Department of Education are very concerning. These cuts include:
*Title 1: (provides funding for disadvantaged students under ESSA). While this is slated to receive a $1b billion increase, it will change the structure of how it will be paid out to the states and districts. All federal, state, and local funds would be put into a formula and divided out on a per student basis. While giving students the opportunity to change schools, the funding would follow the student. This has a chance of leaving some school systems without sufficient funds to operate efficiently for those students remaining.
*Title II, Part A (funding for training and recruiting teachers, principals, and school staff) would be eliminated.
*Title II, Part B (Specific literacy programs and teacher training programs) Comprehensive Literacy Development Grant, used for improving literacy for language learners and students with disabilities, would be eliminated.
*21st Century Community Learning Centers (before school, after school, and summer programs) would be eliminated.
Additionally, some items of particular concern are:
*Early education programs such as Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block grant are not mentioned in the budget.
*Funding for Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which is the formula for providing funding for states for special education is not mentioned.
*Office of Civil Rights, which investigates complaints related to discrimination of the disabled, is not mentioned in the budget.
Copy of the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf
BBC News: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-393028
USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/16/what-does-trump-budget-eliminate/99223182/