Media Highlights

President Obama Requests $71 Billion for Education, Strengthening High Schools, Preschool

by Melanie Anderson   •  

It is finally budget week in Washington DC!

President Obama released his FY 2014 budget request Wednesday that includes resources that will create more robust education and career opportunities for youth.

The request closely aligns with Opportunity Nations policy recommendations that call for expanding pathways to success for all youth, providing better opportunities for college and career advancement and pairing college planning support with college savings for low-income youth.

Detailed budget information can be found here and here.  Final FY 2013 funding levels for all programs have not yet been released.  So the FY 2014 budget numbers are compared to the FY 2012 levels. 

The budget includes $71.2 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education and $12.1 billion in discretionary finding for the Department of Labor.

Some highlights:

$300 million for High school transformation. This would support competitive grants to transform teaching and learning in high schools by encouraging partnerships among districts, postsecondary institutions, businesses and non-profits to prepare students for college and career. The intent is to create learning models that are rigorous, relevant and focused on real-world experiences while incorporating personalized learning, work- and project based learning and career and college exploration;

$280 million for the improvement of postsecondary education.  This would support the First in the World initiative to restore the United States as a world leader in educational attainment. These funds would include a competition to improve college access and student success. They would also support Pay-for- Success awards that provide alternative pathways for postsecondary programs that demonstrate good student outcomes;

$8 billion for community college to career. Beginning in 2015 with a $134 million investment, this would provide $8 billion ($4 billion each in the Departments of Labor and Education) over three years to support and evaluate community college training programs that build the skills of American workers, with a particular emphasis on partnerships with businesses. This fund would be jointly administered by the Departments of Labor and Education and is the successor to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program in the Department of Labor, for which 2014 is the final year of funding;

$1.3 billion for preschool for all. This would support state grants for high-quality preschool programs aligned with elementary and secondary education systems. The Department would share costs with States to provide universal access to high-quality preschool for children from low- and moderate-income families and provide incentives to serve additional children from middle-class families;

$750 million for preschool development grants. This would support state grants to expand access to high-quality programs serving four-year old children from low- and moderate-income families.

$1 billion for higher education Race to the Top grants.  This would support a college affordability and completion initiative in the following key areas: sustaining fiscal support for higher education while modernizing funding policies to constrain costs and improve outcomes; removing barriers preventing the creation of innovative methods of student learning and degree pathways; empowering consumer choice through increased transparency; and smoothing transitions into college and between institutions of higher education.

$415 million for STEM innovation networks. This would support competitive grants to school districts working in partnership with institutions of higher education, businesses, science agencies or other entities. These public-private partnerships would harness local, regional and national resources to transform STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs that improve teacher recruitment, preparation and professional development. Funds would also support a STEM Master Teacher Corps and a STEM Virtual Learning Network, a robust online community to guide the field in adopting the most effective practices for improving teaching and learning.

$150 million for Workforce Innovation Fund. These competitive funds would be used to engage states in identifying effective models to modernize federal job training programs.

There will be a number of budget-related events in DC this week:
April 11, 10 am: House Labor- HHS- Education Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing with Secretary of Education Duncan; 2358-C Rayburn
April 11, 10 am; House Budget Committee hearing on The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget with Jeffrey Zients; Acting OMB Director; 210 Cannon
April 11, 2 pm: Senate Budget Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal with Jeffrey Zients; Acting OMB Director; 608 Dirksen

Melanie Anderson Melanie Anderson is the Director of Government and External Affairs at Opportunity Nation. She directs the campaign’s government relations and policy efforts. Read Melanie's bio.

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