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THE PRESIDENT’S 2015 BUDGET PROPOSAL
FOR EDUCATION
“Opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation is to restore that promise.
– President Barack Obama, 2014 State of the Union address
America’s public schools strive to oer a path to the
middle class for children from hard-working families in
every community, particularly those living in poverty.
Yet too many students lack access to the education
and supports that make the journey to the middle class
a reality. The Obama administration is committed to
ensuring equity of opportunity for every child.
In President Obama’s first term, the administration helped
to unleash innovation at the state and local levels, in part
through competitive funds that achieved extraordinary “bang
for the buck” in driving positive change with public dollars.
This happened even as the administration maintained strong
support for formula grant programs, which make up the vast
majority of the budget, and are focused on the most vulnerable
students. The nation’s schools, teachers, and students have
made significant gains including the highest high school gradu-
ation rate in American history, an increase of nearly 50 percent
in the number of students accessing higher education on Pell
Grants, a major increase in the number of minority students
in college, and sharp cuts in the dropout rate, especially for
Hispanic and low-income students. Despite this solid progress,
wide gaps of opportunity and achievement continue to hurt
many minority, low-income, and other underserved students,
potentially imperiling our nation’s economy and our future.
THE PRESIDENT’S FISCAL YEAR 2015
BUDGET REQUEST FOR EDUCATION
The President’s budget request reflects his strong belief that
education is a vital investment in the nation’s economic
competitiveness, its people, and its communities. The adminis-
tration’s request for $69 billion in discretionary appropriations
represents an increase of 2 percent over the previous year
and slightly more than the 2012 discretionary level for educa-
tion before the sequester. Three-quarters of that funding goes
to financial aid for students in college, special education, and
high-poverty schools (Title I). The remaining 23 percent of the
budget targets specific areas and reforms designed to leverage
major changes in educational opportunity and excellence for
all students, including the expansion of access to high-quality
preschool, data-driven instruction based on college- and career-
ready standards, making college more aordable, and mitigating
the eects of poverty on educational outcomes. Much of this
leverage is achieved through competitive awards to states and
school districts committed to educational innovation and trans-
formation. But the lion’s share of the 2015 request—nearly 90
percent of discretionary spending—goes to formula funds that
address the needs of disadvantaged poor and minority students,
students with disabilities, and English learners.
2015 BUDGET REQUEST
Funding for Education, Preschool through 12th Grade
FormulaCompetitive
11%
89%
2015 BUDGET REQUEST
All other
programs
Pell/
student
aid
Title I Special
education
23%
21
%
38%
18%
The President's 2015 Budget Proposal for Education
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