Trump To Seek Nearly 8 Percent Cut In Education Spending
With help from Juan Perez Jr.
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Adequate Irs Resources Especially Important If Major Tax Changes Enacted
Fundamental changes to the tax system are high on Republicans legislative agenda. Their proposals are expected to be similar to plans put forward last year by House Republicans and President Trump during the campaign, which would dramatically alter the individual and business tax systems. A revamped tax code would have major implications for IRS resources. IRS staff would need to become familiar with the new tax system in order to interpret and enforce tax laws and counsel taxpayers. Changes to information technology systems would likely be needed to reflect new policies. And tax legislation often requires the IRS to lead extensive rulemaking processes to develop and finalize new regulations. Each of these responsibilities could strain IRS resources in any funding environment, let alone one in which IRS funding is being cut.
Office Of Civil Rights Spared
The Trump budget proposes level funding for the Office of Civil Rights , which may have surprised Democrats who worry that OCR will play a diminished role in this administration. The joint repeal with the Department of Justice of the Obama administrations guidance on bathroom access for transgender students, for example, signaled a retreat from the previous administrations approach in this arena. Since her confirmation hearing, DeVos has not offered much clarity on how she views the Department of Educations role in enforcing civil rights laws. Recently, in both the House and Senate hearings on the budget, Democrats have pressed her to affirm her commitment to protecting students civil rights, particularly in the context of school choice programs.
This level funding proposal might reflect an awareness that decreasing the OCR budget would only provide additional fodder for Democrats to criticize DeVoss commitment to enforcing federal civil rights laws. Nonetheless, the department has sent mixed signals about its intentions regarding the direction of civil rights enforcement, and it remains difficult to say what DeVoss philosophy is regarding what exactly this responsibility entails.
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Trump Still Cant Eliminate The Department Or Lower Its Funding
Despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to scale back the U.S. Education Department, Congress hasn’t approved either a decrease in its budget or proposals to downsize the agency. The administration has, however, succeeded in cutting back some of the agency’s oversight powers.
The 2017 federal budget, enacted during President Barack Obama’s administration, gave the Education Department $68.2 billion in discretionary funding for the year. Discretionary funding is the amount of funding Congress decides to give the department each year, making it a better indicator of Congress’ views than mandatory funding for long-term programs such as student loans and school lunches. Trump’s first budget for the 2018 fiscal year proposed scaling back the department’s budget by 13% compared with the year before.
But Congress didn’t approve the cut, and the final 2018 budget raised discretionary funding to $70.8 billion.
Still, Trump is trying to fulfill his campaign promise. His 2021 budget proposal includes a “8.4% reduction below the fiscal year 2020 appropriation” for the Education Department. Congress hasn’t released their final budget yet.
Trump Threatens To Cut Funding If Schools Do Not Fully Reopen
Disregarding the advice of his own health experts, President Trump also attacked the C.D.C.s reopening guidelines as onerous and expensive.
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WASHINGTON President Trump pressured the governments top public health experts on Wednesday to water down recommendations for how the nations schools could reopen safely this fall and threatened to cut federal funding for districts that defied his demand to resume classes in person.
Once again rejecting the advice of the specialists who work for him, Mr. Trump dismissed the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions very tough & expensive guidelines, which he said asked schools to do very impractical things. Within hours, the White House announced that the agency would issue new recommendations in the days to come.
The presidents criticisms, in a barrage of Twitter threats, inflamed a difficult debate that has challenged educators and parents across the country as they seek ways to safely resume teaching American children by September. Even as the coronavirus is spreading faster than ever in the United States, Mr. Trump expressed no concern about the health implications of reopening in person and no support for compromise plans that many districts are considering.
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Donald Trump Says He Would Cut Department Of Education
Presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to make waves. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Trump what he would do to cut spending if he was elected President and he said that the Department of Education was first on the chopping block.
But I may cut Department of Education. I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education.
Trump didnt go into detailof what he meant by local education or how to educate the children from South Carolina and New York, but hes fairly certain that he would rid the country of the Department of Education.
For what its worth, the Department of Education might be marred down in bureaucracy like other government departments, but it still has significance. From early education to student loan reform to watching over for-profit schools and how well students are treated, the Dept. of Ed certainly has its place. Its how low-income students receive Pell grants and how we keep track of school performance. Some federal oversight is needed when it comes to a benchmarked way of monitoring education in America.
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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued a statement responding to the proposed cuts, criticizing the DeVos leadership at the department.
Rather than increase funding for kids with special needs or for those who live below the poverty line in both rural and urban America, or addressing the issues raised in their own safety report, DeVos once again seeks to divert funding for private purposes in the name of choice, Weingarten said.
The statement continued: However, if they listened to parents, they would hear that, overwhelmingly, parents want well-funded public schools as their choice.
Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, also criticized the budgets Education Department proposals, saying it showed how wildly out of sync DeVos is.
Secretary DeVos is proposing gutting investments in students, teachers, public schools, and even school safety — all to make room for her extreme privatization proposal that no one asked for. This is not a serious budget proposal, and I am going to once again work with Republicans in Congress to ensure every student has access to a quality public education in their neighborhood, Murrays statement said.
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Cuts Concentrated In Programs Assisting Low
Low-income programs face $1.2 trillion, or 57 percent, of the budgets proposed $2.2 trillion in ten-year cuts to mandatory programs, despite making up only a quarter of all federal spending on mandatory programs. Medicaid and related programs and SNAP face particularly deep cuts.
Under the budget, by the tenth year, 1 out of every 6 dollars for low-income mandatoryprograms will have disappeared. Think of this as a one-sixth cut in caseload, a one-sixth cut in per-household benefits, or some combination of the two.
Of the $1.5 trillion in ten-year spending cuts for NDD programs, at least $360 billion, or one-quarter, would come from low-income programs, which constitute a fifth of all NDD program expenditures. The cuts are quite steep by the tenth year, overall funding for low-income NDD programs will have fallen by two-fifths and by more if veterans medical-care is shielded to some degree and doesnt suffer budget cuts to the same extent as other NDD programs.
Combining mandatory and NDD programs, the budget would cut $3.7 trillion over ten years, of which $1.6 trillion or 44 percent would come from low-income programs. This is well above the 24 percent of the budget that low-income spending constitutes under current law and policies.
Trump Budget Continues Multi
The Internal Revenue Service budget has been cut by 18 percent since 2010, after adjusting for inflation, and the agency has lost roughly 13,000 employees around 14 percent of its workforce. These cuts have harmed customer service, frustrated honest taxpayers, and undermined critical enforcement efforts to combat tax avoidance and growing identity theft. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, whose department includes the IRS, appears to understand that these cuts are misguided, stating at his confirmation hearing:
I am concerned about the staffing of the IRS. It is an important part of fixing the tax gap and I am very concerned about the lack of first-rate technology at the IRS, the issue of making sure that we protect the American publics privacy when they give information to the IRS, cybersecurity around that, and also customer service for the many hard-working Americans that are paying taxes.
The IRS needs additional resources to address the issues that Mnuchin outlined providing those resources would both improve taxpayer services and increase revenues by improving tax compliance. Despite this, the Administrations 2018 budget proposal cuts IRS funding by an additional $239 million, bringing the total decline since 2010 to 21 percent.
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Enforcement Serves Vital Function But Has Been Hit Especially Hard
IRS enforcement activities maintain the integrity of the nations tax system. The IRS collects more than 90 percent of federal revenues, largely through taxpayers voluntary compliance, but enforcement activities such as audits play a critical role by and ensuring that taxpayers pay the taxes they owe. Unfortunately, IRS enforcement funding has been hit disproportionately hard by funding and staffing reductions since 2010. In 2016, enforcement funding was 20 percent below its 2010 level in inflation-adjusted terms. As a result, enforcement alone has lost more than 11,000 employees almost a quarter of its staff since 2010.
Secretary Mnuchin highlighted the need for additional enforcement resources during his confirmation hearing, noting I am concerned about the staffing of the IRS. That is an important part of the fixing the tax gap and that we add people, we make money. Indeed, the IRS estimates that the net tax gap the amount of taxes owed but uncollected even after enforcement activities is roughly $400 billion annually. Treasury estimates that every additional $1 invested in enforcement can produce $6 in additional revenue, and the additional, indirect savings from deterring tax evasion are more than three times that. By cutting enforcement the government is losing billions of dollars to achieve budget savings of a few hundred million dollars, according to Commissioner Koskinen.
Proposed Higher Education Cuts Could Be Substantial
The Trump administration has proposed a number of cuts to higher education spending, including eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. They have also proposed an unusually large cut to the federal work study program. According to the Office of Federal Student Aid, this program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. If federal work study is funded at the proposed level, it would be the lowest level of funding the program has ever received since the Department of Education began to administer it in 1980, reflected in the figure below. It is also one of the biggest proposed cuts compared to the prior years budget request.
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Trump Budget Proposes Cuts To Education
President Trump’s new budget proposal calls for nearly an 8 percent cut to education.
Each year, President Trump has proposed a new budget with cuts to programs at the Department of Education. This year is no different as his new proposal shows. In addition to cuts to other areas like Medicaid and food stamps, Trump has proposed nearly an 8% cut to education, though it seems he avoided the blowback received last year from proposing cuts to Special Olympics.
Among the cuts are the cancellation of $3.9 billion from the Pell Grant Surplus, a fund meant to protect the grant from fluctuations in need, like when many more people enroll than expected. With some predicting a recession, this can be a dangerous move as more people enroll in college in times of recession and many students families are in worse financial standing.
Trump also calls for eliminating subsidized student loans, loans where the federal government covers the interest while a student is enrolled in college. Trumps budget also calls for elimination the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, as he has done in previous years. As stories have continued to pour in about people being denied forgiveness, it is likely this move will also cause criticism of the administration.
Were Prepared To Work With Each School Redfield Says
Vice President Mike Pence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Dr. Robert R. Redfield of the C.D.C. and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White Houses coronavirus response coordinator, addressed plans to reopen schools.
The Education Department may be able to reroute or withhold some emergency coronavirus relief funding that school districts say they desperately need to fund staff, programming and the public health measures recommended by the C.D.C. And the president could veto additional funds that schools want from Congress this summer.
On Wednesday, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Trump would seek to substantially bump up money for education in the next coronavirus relief package, but this money should go to students.
A senior House Democratic aide said lawmakers would most likely push to limit the presidents authority to withhold school funds in a next round of relief.
Many parents, educators and doctors believe that the social, educational and psychological costs of a prolonged shutdown or online learning now outweigh the risk of the virus itself, a position expressed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But how schools reopen safely is a matter of serious discussion.
Joining the briefing with Mr. Duncan and former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, a former C.D.C. director, said schools should reopen, but safely.
Pam Belluck contributed reporting from New York.
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Observations On Trumps Education Budget
President Donald Trumps proposed education budget is an agglomeration of bold and at times contradictory policy positions, some of which have would-be Republican allies shaking their heads. Here, I highlight three salient features of this budget and discuss responses from the left and the right. As many have noted, several of the proposed cuts are unpopular on both sides of the aisle, suggesting that the final budget may deviate substantially from this proposal.
Read More On The Coronavirus Pandemic
- New Guidelines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened its Covid-19 guidance, saying those exposed to the virus no longer need to quarantine.
- A Sweeping Rebuke: Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that her agency had failed to respond quickly enough to the coronavirus pandemic and needed to be overhauled.
- Back to School: New York Citys Education Department has rolled back most Covid restrictions ahead of the start of school on Sept. 8, reflecting a wider shift toward learning how to live with the virus.
- A Century-Old Vaccine: The results of clinical trials, launched in the early days of the pandemic, involving an old tuberculosis vaccine offered hope that it could provide a measure of universal protection against infectious diseases.
Another official said that some in the White House had learned of the C.D.C.s plans to distribute new guidance only on Tuesday, when Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the agencys director, told governors about it in a call led by Mr. Pence. Dr. Redfield said on Wednesday that Americans should not interpret C.D.C. guidelines as requirements.
In taking on defiant educators, Mr. Trump invoked the one lever he had federal funding to impose his will on schools, which are traditionally run by localities and states.
He added: Its ludicrous. Itd be funny if it wasnt so sad.
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She also said the budget at its core is about education freedom, an apparent nod to the issue of school choice something DeVos has attempted to champion during her time as head of the department.
The proposed budget includes DeVos school choice platform by asking for an increase in $60 million for the Charters Schools Program.
The budget also requests $700 million for school safety measures from multiple agencies, including the Education Department, the Justice Department and Health and Human Services.
After the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, the President established the Federal Commission on School Safety to assess and develop Federal, State, and local policy recommendations to help prevent violence in schools, the 2020 budget proposal reads.
The Budget provides approximately $700 million, an increase of $354 million compared to the 2019 Budget, in Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services grants to give States and school districts resources to implement the Commissions recommendations, such as expanding access to mental healthcare, developing threat assessments, and improving school climate.