White House budget cuts $4.4 billion in K-12 education funds

Rob Shimshock, DCNF

The White House cut $4.4 billion in funding for K-12 education, according to a White House budget report released Monday.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, greets students, parents and educators at a National School Choice rally, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Maria Danilova)

The Department of Education eliminated funding to 17 programs it called “duplicative, ineffective,” or better suited to maintenance by private, state or local funds.

If the department’s $59.9 billion budget request is approved, it will receive a stipend of $7.1 billion — more than 10 percent — lower than its 2017 budget.

The budget dedicates $1.1 billion to school choice initiatives, such as expanding public charter schools and private school choice options for at-risk and low-income students.

The Department of Education plans to invest $200 million in STEM education and $13 billion to assisting disabled students. A little less than $50 million will also go towards fighting the opioid epidemic in schools.

“The president’s budget request expands education freedom for America’s families while protecting our nation’s most vulnerable students,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wrote in a press release obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The budget also reflects our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating and eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs that are better handled at the state or local level.”

“I look forward to working with Congress to pass a budget that puts students first and returns power in education to where it belongs: with states, districts and families,” DeVos said.

The budget also mentioned the Department’s policy for student loan repayment, by which students would pay a maximum of 12.5 percent of their discretionary income per month. The Department would forgive undergraduate and graduate borrowers’ remaining debt after 15 and 30 years of repayment, respectively.

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