ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 16, 2017)—Today, President Donald Trump released his budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018. The proposal cuts funding for public education programs by $9.2 billion, while including a $250 million investment to expand private school options.
“Opportunity starts and ends with access to a great education. Equitable, high-quality public education for all students is essential to children and the nation’s long-term success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA is disappointed to see President Trump’s proposal cuts funding for critical public education programs, while investing in private school options. National PTA opposes any private school choice system that drains public school resources. Public dollars must remain invested in public schools for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation.”
“The significant cuts to education in the president’s budget along with the expansion of private school choice programs—which have not been proven to improve student outcomes—mean that, now more than ever, it is imperative to invest in family engagement programs, like the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs),” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “Family engagement in education has demonstrated benefits to student achievement and school improvement. The SFECs program would empower parents and families with the resources they need to ensure their children are provided the best opportunities to thrive and learn. National PTA hopes funding for the SFEC program will be included in the release of the full budget request in the coming months, and we remain committed to advocating for funding for the program as Congress considers the budget.”
While National PTA is disappointed that President Trump’s budget proposal cuts vital funding for public education overall, the association is pleased to see the president designate an additional $1 billion for Title I—which aids schools with high percentages of children from low-income families—as well as maintain funding of $13 billion for special education grants through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Although these important foundational federal education programs were spared from cuts, we remain concerned about the disinvestment in education that this blueprint lays out.
“Across the country there are great disparities in available resources as well as the quality of and access to educational opportunities,” added President Bay. “It has long been a top priority for National PTA to work with the administration and Congress to ensure robust federal investments are made in public education programs that promote equity and opportunity for all children.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.