FY11 budget details: a mixed bag for education

“Elimination of the program also is the surest way to devalue the billions of dollars invested over the last two years on improving broadband access to K-12 schools and directly undercuts ongoing state and federal efforts to deploy education data systems, implement new college and career-ready standards and assessments, and address the well-documented STEM crisis.”

When adjusted for Pell Grants, the U.S. Department of Education will receive $68.5 billion in total FY11 funding, compared to $69.8 billion in FY10.

The final agreement provides $700 million for Race to the Top—one of Obama’s hallmark education programs. That $700 million also includes a new early childhood education initiative. Investing In Innovation will receive $150 million.

Title I is funded at $14.5 billion, which is the same amount it received last year. An earlier version of the bill cut almost $700 million from Title I funds, which reportedly would have left 2,400 schools and 1 million disadvantaged students without assistance. Roughly 10,000 teachers and aides would have been without work.

The Head Start program will receive a $340 million boost over FY10 funding, for a total of $7.5 billion. That’s also $1.4 billion more than earlier versions of the bill, which would have cut 218,000 low-income children and families from the program, closed 16,000 Head Start classrooms, and laid off 55,000 teachers, teacher assistants, and other Head Start staff, according to the National Head Start Association.

Promise Neighborhoods will receive $30 million. The program provides funding to support nonprofits, higher education, and Indian tribes.

The program, which develops stable and nurturing neighborhoods, aims to give all children and youth in those neighborhoods access to great schools and community support in advance of post-secondary education and entrance into the workforce.

Democrats secured a $23 million cut for AmeriCorps, a community service program that Republicans had hoped to eliminate.

The deal also would reinstate the Washington, D.C. school voucher program, which uses federal funds to subsidize private school expenses for qualified students.

Teachers unions oppose using vouchers for private school assistance, maintaining that they take money away from public schools.

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