President Trump Proposes Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
On Monday afternoon, the Trump Administration released its proposal for the federal budget. Specific to the U.S. Department of Education, the fiscal 2020 budget decreases funding by about $8.5 billion while maintaining level funding for the Office for Civil Rights. Details of the full budget request are available here. In a press release, Secretary DeVos stated that with the budget proposal, the Administration has “reaffirmed our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating or eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs. Tough decisions were made, but we made sure that this budget protects our most vulnerable students.”
Much of the budget proposal centers around six major initiatives, which are designed to increase education freedom, support high-need students, promote safe and secure schools, elevate the teaching profession, promote workforce development for the 21st century, and streamline and improve postsecondary aid programs. Among the President’s budget proposals for postsecondary education are:
- Expanding Pell Grant program eligibility to short-term programs that lead to a credential, certification, or license in a high-demand field;
- Reforming campus-based aid programs by shifting recipients of the Federal Work-Study program from high-income undergraduate and graduate students to low-income undergraduate students;
- Simplifying student loan repayment and student loan programs by consolidating multiple Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans into a single plan;
- Increasing institutional accountability by requiring postsecondary institutions to share a portion of the financial responsibility associated with student loans when accepting taxpayer funds; and
- Investing $1.8 billion to upgrade student loan servicing by Federal Student Aid.
While it is unlikely that the proposed budget will be enacted by Congress in its current form, the overall features of the proposed budget illustrate the Trump Administration’s priorities for higher education and the proposed initiatives will likely inform discussions this year on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the implications of this budget proposal, please feel free to contact HMBR’s Higher Education Group at 312-946-1800.