Education will continue to be a top priority of the Obama Administration and the second session of the 112th Congress. It is anticipated that the Federal government will continue providing significant funding and opportunities for innovative approaches towards improving early learning, K – 12, and postsecondary education in America.
While school systems and universities have traditionally offered critical educational training for students, in recent years, many communities have sought to leverage school and university resources to create regional economic engines, or to provide specialized skill training that is needed to advance public goals. The federal government seeks to incentivize the participation of educational institutions in these federal, state, regional and local activities. Initiatives that are consistent with the national, bipartisan goal of improving education, providing required skills training in areas such as teaching, homeland security, or health care, or growing the nation’s economy and enhancing economic development, are often eligible for federal funding.
Areas of particular interest to Congress and the federal agencies that set federal education policy include:
- University linkages with K-12 school systems
- Creating highly-skilled workers to compete in a global environment
- Capital improvements that enable universities to offer nationally significant programs to students
- Enhanced teacher training
- Increased use of information technology and distance learning
- Improved access to higher education for non-traditional students
- Improved educational opportunities for underserved and minority students
FY 2013 Administration Budget for Education
The Administration’s 2013 budget request for education is guided by a strong emphasis on positive incentives and recognizing and rewarding success; focusing investments on fewer, more effective programs; and setting clear goals for Federal programs while giving States, school districts, and other program recipients more flexibility in meeting those goals. While ensuring that districts from different geographic regions can fairly compete, the budget promotes increased competition in awarding Federal education funds, and asks States and school districts for more in return for formula funds. Key proposals in the 2013 Education budget include the following:
Professional Teacher Development
The 2013 request includes a variety of mandatory and competitive funding initiatives aimed at advancing the quality of education through the improvement of teacher recruitment, training, aid, and incentives with a focus on minority and low-income educators.
- Presidential Teaching Fellows Fund: $190 million in mandatory funding for formula grants to States to provide scholarships to talented students attending top-tier teacher preparation programs in the State, with an emphasis on students from low-income families.
- Hawkins Center of Excellence Program: $30 million towards increasing the number of effective minority educators via expansion and reform of teacher education programs at Minority-Serving Institutions.
- Excellent Instructional Teams Program: $2.9 billion towards the consolidation of 5 existing teacher and school leader programs into 2 new programs better designed to help States and LEAs increase the effectiveness of teachers and principals.
- Effective Teacher and Leaders State Grants: $2.5 billion to help States and LEAs carry out strategies to recruit, prepare, retain and reward effective teachers and principals. Up to $625 million (25%) in Title II funds would be set aside within the program to go toward creating and expanding high-performing pathways into teaching and school leadership, reducing shortages of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers, and investing in efforts to enhance the profession.
- Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund: $400 million in competitive funding to support reforms (including innovative compensation systems) to better recruit, prepare, retain, and reward effective teachers, principals, and school leadership teams in high-need schools.
- Effective Teaching and Learning - Literacy: $189.6 million for a competitive grant program to help States strengthen their literacy programs by developing comprehensive, evidence-based, pre-K-12 literacy plans and by aligning resources to provide high-quality literacy instruction.
- Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education: $90 million in competitive grants to States, LEAs, and non-profits to strengthen the teaching and learning of often overlooked subjects that contribute to a well-rounded education.
Innovation in Seconday Education
The 2013 budget request includes a variety of funds dedicated to the continued support of the education and implementation of innovative technologies in LEAs and school systems, with additional funding and grants rewarded to schools and systems with a record of improving student achievement and results.
- Race to the Top: $850 million for the 2013 competition.
- Investing in Innovation (i3): $500 million towards maintenance of the i3 program, with a portion of funding dedicated to the development of breakthrough learning technologies through the Advanced Research Projects Agency –Education (ARPA-ED).
- Expanding Educational Options: $255 million in increased funding to support the creation and expansion of effective charter schools, other effective autonomous schools, and comprehensive systems of public school choice.
Initiatives for Meeting Student Needs
The request contains a variety of funds and grants, aimed at the creation of learning environments conducive to high student productivity and achievement, with a focus on students in disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods.
- Promise Neighborhoods: $100 million towards expanding this initiative to support the development and implementation of comprehensive community projects designed to combat the effects of poverty and improve education and life outcomes for disadvantaged students.
- 1st Century Community Learning Centers: $1.2 billion for competitive grants for projects which provide students with additional time for academic and enrichment activities before and after school.
- Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students: $195.9 million for this program, designed to give local communities the flexibility to focus on their greatest needs in the areas of improving school climate and safety; promoting student physical and mental health, preventing student drug and alcohol use, and expanding family and community engagement.
STEM Education Initiatives
The 2013 budget request seeks to foster student interest and achievement in the sciences via funds dedicated to the improvement of the quality of teaching and resources in the subjects of math, engineering, science, and technology.
- Effective Teaching and Learning – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): $149. 7 million to help States improve instruction and raise student achievement in these subjects. e education and life outcomes for disadvantaged students.
- Effective Teachers and Leaders Program Set-Aside: $80 million to support the Administration’s goal of preparing 100,000 effective STEM teachers over the next decade.
- Fund for the Improvement of Education: $30 million combined with $30 million from the National Science Foundation to support the development and implementation of a robust, evidence-based K-12 STEM initiative through competitive grants and the dissemination of proven practices in STEM education.
Improving the Effectiveness of Secondary Education
The budget proposes a variety of programs targeting low-performing schools and school systems. These programs provide rewards and incentives for school districts which take steps to strengthen their weak links, with a focus on real-world-preparedness and student disability assessments.
- School Turnaround Grants Reauthorization: $533.6 million in reauthorized funding to establish a new round of awards to local school districts, designed to support the implementation of rigorous interventions in their persistently lowest performing schools.
- Assessing Achievement Reauthorization: $389.2 million in reauthorized funding to help States develop or implement assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards, to improve assessments for English learners and students with disabilities, and to develop and implement formative as well as end-of-course and other assessments.
Improving Postsecondary Education Access, Affordability and Completion
The budget proposes steps to improving the access, affordability, matriculation and graduation rates for postsecondary education, with a focus on disadvantaged and minority students – Hispanic students in particular – and a competitive funding incentive for states to implement these reforms.
- Race to the Top: College Affordability and Completion: $1 billion for a competition similar to Race to the Top to drive systemic State reforms that will lead to increased affordability, quality, and productivity.
- First in the World Competition: $55.5 million to develop, test, and scale up effective approaches to education.
- Federal TRIO programs: $839.9 million to maintain strong support for services helping disadvantaged students enroll in and complete college.
- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP): $302.2 million to help approximately 725,000 middle and high school students prepare for and enroll in college.
- College Pathways and Accelerated Learning: $81.3 million under the Administrations’ Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization designed to increase graduation rates and preparation for college matriculation and success by providing college-level courses in high-poverty middle and high-school classes.
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions: $305.8 million in discretionary funds for institutional development aid to provide equal educational opportunity for enrolled students and to enhance the financial stability of these institutions.
- Hispanic-serving Institutions: $109.4 million in discretionary funds to ensure Hispanic students have access to high-quality postsecondary education.
More information on federal programs and initiatives can be found at: