FY2012 Department of Education Budget Request Briefing

Uploaded by usedgov on 14.02.2011

Good afternoon, everybody. Find a seat if you can. It's a popular day. Happy Valentine's
Day. We see lots of red, pink, and purple on your persons. You won't see it, sadly,
on the books today. They are a deep teal, despite my lobbying for a pink or a rose but
we hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Hope you are also enjoying the lollipops. They were
not provided with any appropriated funds. We took care of that ourselves, personally.
So we are delighted to have you here. We know it is always a popular event. We are also
webcasting it on USTREAM today. If
you are going to be asking any questions or making comments in the microphone, just make
sure you are doing that very clearly so that the folks who are tuned in online can hear
you. We will have the Secretary speak for a few
minutes and then we will get a presentation from Carmel Martin, our Assistant Secretary
for Policy, and then we will get into some discussion and questions from you.
So without further ado, here is Secretary Duncan.
Good morning. Lots of interest in the budget, I like to see that.
Carmel and I just got back from Baltimore with President Obama. And it is fitting that
he released his 2012 budget at a school because we all know how absolutely committed he is
to education. This is a responsible budget that invests
in education reforms. It will deliver results. At a time when other agency's budgets are
being frozen or cut, the President is proposing a two billion dollar increase for education
that is focused on smart, targeted increases to advance reform.
The President is making an investment in a cradle-to-career strategy to accelerate student
achievement. His budget will promote reform, reward success, and support innovation at
the state and local levels. But the President is making some tough choices
in education and elsewhere. We are cutting where we can to invest where we must. These
are lean times, as you know, for everyone, but we can't delay investment that will secure
our future. These investments in education are divided
into five significant priorities. First, is the $350 million dollars for the Early Learning
Challenge Fund. Research tells all of us that high-quality early learning is absolutely
one of the best, if not the best, investment we can make. It prepares children for success
in school, puts them on the track to graduate from high school, and to go on to be successful
in higher education. This new competitive fund will support statewide models of high-quality
early learning systems. On the early learning agenda, our team will
continue to work with our partners at HHS, where the President has proposed targeted
increases of $866 million dollars for Head Start and $1.3 billion dollars for quality
child care. Second, the President is signaling his support
for sustaining and expanding important reforms. He has proposed $900 million dollars for Race
to the Top. Through the first two rounds of Race to the Top, we have already seen how
competition and rewards provide powerful, powerful incentives for bold reform. Forty-six
states have created comprehensive reform plans that have buy-in from governors, legislators,
local educators, union leaders, business leaders, and parents. With the $900 million dollars
in this budget, we hope to run a competition that will fund districts of all sizes with
a separate carve-out for rural communities. This budget will also provide for another
key effort to drive innovation in education, including $300 million dollars for the Investing
in Innovation or i3 program, as well as $150 million dollars to move forward with implementation
on the Promise Neighborhoods initiative. Our third priority is teachers. The President
believes that every classroom should have a great teacher in front of it. The budget
includes $975 million dollars in reforms to recruit, prepare, reward, and retain great,
great teachers. It will also create the Presidential Teaching Fellows program to award $10,000
scholarships for the best students who attend our best colleges of education.
We will also support alternative pathways into teaching and provide $80 million dollars
to help meet the President's goal of recruiting 10,000 new math and science teachers over
the next decade. Our final investment in teachers is the $500
million dollars for the Teacher and Leader Innovation fund, which will transform the
teaching profession with new evaluation, professional development and compensation systems that
drive and reward student achievement. Our fourth priority is college completion.
We project that a record nine million students will use Pell Grants to pay for part or all
of their college education. That is a 50 percent increase just since the President took office.
We will continue that investment by maintaining the maximum grant of $5,550. For many students,
as all of you know, Pell Grants are an economic lifeline. They are a different between dropping
out or staying in school and graduating. But in the knowledge economy, it is not good enough
simply to start college. It is imperative that students complete their degrees. This
can't just be about access. It also has to be about attainment.
Today, a third of students who enter college drop out and never earn a degree, and only
half finish after six years. Through the $123 million dollar First in the World Competition,
we will provide venture capital to create innovative new approaches to improve college
completion and promote efficiency in higher education. There will be an additional $1.25
billion dollars over the next five years for states to reward institutions that are leading
the way in college completion. Finally, this budget is maintaining the federal
government's commitment to students most at risk and that is critically important to the
President and to me. It provides a $200 million dollar increase for special education and
a $50 million dollar increase to support infants and toddlers with disabilities. It creates
a $300 million dollar program to recognize and reward high-poverty schools and high-poverty
districts where disadvantaged students are making the most progress, and maintains funding
for English language learners, migrant students, and homeless and rural children. We have to
do a better job of recognizing places that are closing achievement gaps, reward them,
and learn from them. Under this budget, 84 percent of pre-K through
12 funds will be used for formula funding. Early learning, school reform, great teachers,
college completion, helping students at risk; these significant investments will sustain
the momentum for innovation and reform in education.
But I am not going to sugarcoat the methods here today. To make these investments, we
have to find efficiencies. This budget renews our proposal to consolidate a patchwork of
38 programs with a narrow focus into 11 larger programs that will have enough funds to make
a significant impact. These new flexible programs will address critical issues in education
such as promoting a well-rounded curriculum and recruiting and retaining effective teachers.
I look forward to working with members of Congress to make these changes, as we reauthorize
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We have bipartisan support for changes that
will create a fair, flexible, and more focused law.
We have made other tough choices as well. In 2012, the historic demand for Pell Grants
has created a shortfall that we project to be $20 billion dollars. We can't let this
gap go unaddressed. To help cover it, we are proposing to stop paying interest subsidies
for graduate students' federal student loans. Research shows that these subsidies aren't
targeted on the neediest students and they are not our most productive use of funds.
We believe it is more important to keep the maximum Pell Grant at $5,550. We also oppose
allowing some students to receive two Pell Grants in a single year.
We have also proposed a $265 million dollar cut in state grants for career and technical
education programs. While we know that high-quality career and technical education strategies
have the potential to prepare students for jobs in the knowledge economy, many career
and technical programs haven't lived up to their promise of preparing students for college
and careers. With the $1 billion dollars still available
in the program, we will support reforms that provide rigorous pathways to postsecondary
and career success. Career education is vitally important to our country's future. We want
to strengthen our programs so that we are making the best investment for our students.
While these are some very tough and even painful choices, we have to stretch every single dollar
as far as possible and do more with less. But make no mistake; this budget is more about
investment than cuts. President Obama has said repeatedly to win the future we have
to win the education race. For this budget, he is providing the resources we need to educate
our way to a better economy. As we strive to hit the President's ultimate goal of again
leading the world in college graduates a decade from now by 2020, we must continue to work
together with the same energy, the same passion, and a sense of urgency that has defined our
work in the past. I am absolutely convinced that we can do that together.
Thanks so much and please ask all your hard questions to Carmel and Tom. Thanks for having
Thank you, Arne. And now we will get an overview of the budget from our Assistant Secretary,
Carmel Martin. Hi, everybody. Happy Valentine's Day.
So I am just going to go through some more of the numbers that the Secretary mentioned.
As the Secretary stated, our budget would have a $2 billion increase in non-Pell discretionary
and a $5.4 billion increase for Pell Grants. We have some other ways of driving resources
into the Pell program that I will talk about in a minute, but it also increases the baseline
in discretionary investments for Pell by $5.4 billion.
As Arne said, this budget overall puts us on a path to fiscal sustainability, which
means keeping a five-year freeze on discretionary spending. That requires a lot of tough choices
and I will talk a little bit more about those as well, but it certainly demonstrates that
education is a top priority for the Secretary and for the President.
The Secretary mentioned five areas of focus and I am going to walk through each of those
in a little more detail. First as the Secretary mentioned, there is
a big emphasis on early learning in the budget. In addition to the $350 million dollars for
our Early Learning Challenge Fund, the budget includes a $50 million dollars for IDEA Part
C grants. With these extra resources, we believe we will be able to incentivize more states
to develop zero-to-five systems in their states. We think it will have very high leverage investment.
We also continue support for IDEA preschool grants at $374 million dollars and our Promise
Neighborhoods initiative, which as you know has a big focus on early learning as well,
has $150 million dollars. These investments will complement the investments being made
at the Department of Health and Human Services. They have an increase for both Head Start
and childcare, $8.1 billion dollars for Head Start and $6.3 billion dollars for childcare.
That is about a $2 billion dollar increase, cumulative.
Arne mentioned some of our innovation investments. I just wanted to talk about a few others.
As he mentioned, there is $900 million dollars for a Race to the Top competition that would
be run at the district level. We continue a focus on the four assurance areas that also
add an emphasis on productivity. The funds could be used by districts to put in place
innovations and reforms that would help use less money for better results. So, that is
new to the program. In addition, we are planning on having a separate
competition for rural districts. Rural districts would compete with rural districts and non-rural
districts would compete with non-rural districts. We also have an increase for our Expanding
Educational Options programs, $372 million for Choice and Charter School Programs and
$110 million for Magnets. That is a $10 million dollar increase for the Magnet Schools Program.
We also have funding that we will be working on with the Department of Labor for a government-wide
Joint Workforce Innovation Fund to help us better leverage our Workforce Investment Act
funding streams. And there will be $50 million for Adult Education and $30 million for the
Vocational Rehabilitation Program. We also have a new initiative called PROMISE,
which is a pilot program to help us better leverage funding streams across the government
that are directed at children who qualify for Social Security benefits. And $10 million
dollars to improve access to technology for individuals with disabilities, as well as
a substantial increase in our Statewide Data Systems program, a $42 million dollar increase,
bringing up that funding stream to $100 million. We would like to continue the emphasis of
not just building longitudinal databases at the K-12 or PreK-12 level, but also extending
into early learning and postsecondary education as well, providing resources to states to
be able to do that. And then finally we have significant funding
for research and development efforts. We have a new ARPA-ED initiative which is modeled
on the DARPA initiative. A total of $90 million dollars for that, and it would support research
and development from early learning through postsecondary education. And we have a $60
million dollar increase at IES for research and evaluation programs.
As the Secretary mentioned, another big area of emphasis for us is building excellent instructional
teams, continuing support for teachers and leaders in schools. We are proposing $2.5
billion for the Effective Teacher and Leader State Grant program that would go out by formula
to states and then districts, and $500 million for the Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund
-- you're on the wrong slide, Tom. There you go. Tom's in a hurry to get out of here.
That DARPA is going to need me to handle its technology.
Funding for our Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund is part of our reauthorization proposal
and builds upon the Teacher Incentive Fund. We have some very exciting new initiatives
in the area of teacher and leader preparation and licensure, including we are again proposing
$250 million dollars for a Teacher and Leader Pathways program. That would be competed out
to folks willing to put forth the most effective teacher and leader preparation programs, specifically
in the leader space, as there is funding identified for preparing leaders to work in turnaround
schools. But new this year is a Presidential Teaching Fellow initiative which tries to
reshape and build upon the Teach Grants. It would ask states to put in place statewide
reforms to improve teacher preparation and licensure programs and would provide funding
to states to give out to students at their most effective teacher preparation schools
if they are willing to commit teaching in high-needs schools.
We also have $40 million dollars to improve teacher preparation programs specifically
at minority-serving institutions because we believe as we build the teaching workforce
we also have to ensure that we are building a diverse workforce.
And then we have $835 million dollars for programs that provide students with a well-rounded
education. This is our Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education initiative.
It would provide funds specifically for STEM, literacy, and then well-rounded education,
which promotes interdisciplinary teaching so we can make sure as we focus on STEM and
literacy, it doesn't come at the expense of other subjects like history, arts, and music.
These funds would be used for innovative programs that help teach schools to integrate their
curriculum. We have also -- Is that the next slide? Yes.
Sorry. We will continue support for adult learners
in Career and Technical Education. As the Secretary mentioned, we are proposing a cut
to the Perkins Career and Technical Education Program. We feel like the program does need
to be re-tooled so we can make sure that we are getting the most bang for those dollars
and hope that in the future we will be able to grow that investment once again, but in
the short-term, we have had to make some tough decisions in order to support other higher
leverage investments. We have proposed $635 million for Adult Education
State Grants, with $50 million dollars for the Workforce Innovation Fund that I mentioned
earlier, and $3.1 billion dollars for Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants with $30 million
dollars for the Workforce Innovation Fund. In postsecondary education, this just gives
you a snapshot of our overall support for students going to college. We have $129 billion
dollars in resources through our student loan programs, and $36 billion dollars to support
the Pell Grant Program at the maximum of $5,550, as the Secretary mentioned. We feel like that
is the highest priority, to make sure that all eligible students are able to get that
maximum Pell Grant. We have about $2 billion dollars for other work study programs and
$14 billion dollars in tax benefits that went through at the end of the last Congress.
Just to talk a little bit more about Pell, as the secretary said, we are facing a $20
billion dollar shortfall in the Pell Grant program if it remains as it is currently operating.
And the reason for that shortfall, there are multiple reasons, one of which is demographic
changes and increases in the number of eligible students, which we think is a good thing that
we are serving more and more students. Before the President became President, there were
about six million Pell Grant recipients. In 2012, we are predicting it will be well over
nine million. So it is a 50 percent increase since we have come into office.
The increase in the maximum award has also resulted in increased cost. The second Pell
which the Secretary mentioned is another reason contributing to the shortfall. And then there
are also needs analysis changes that happened in the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.
For example, auto zero previously went to eligible students who were making under $20,000
a year. Post-HEOA, all students making under $30,000 a year became automatically eligible
for a maximum Pell Grant. We are retaining that policy. We are not changing it but it
does drive up the cost of the program substantially. In order to maintain the maximum and the eligibility
outside of the second Pell, we are proposing some changes to the program to bring down
program costs, which is the second Pell issue. We are also looking to garner savings from
other student aid programs, specifically reducing loan subsidies for graduate and professional
students while they are in school. They would still be eligible for subsidized federal loans
at reduced interest rates, but the interest for subsidized loans would accrue while they
were in school, as is the case for students using the unsubsidized program.
We are also going to be allowing borrowers with split loans, both FFEL (Federal Family
Education Loan) and direct loans, to be able to bring their FFEL loans in to the direct
loan program, which would create savings that we would funnel back to students.
And finally, we are proposing to protect and expand the Perkins Loan Program. As you know,
that program is statutorily expected to sunset. We would like to reinstitute it with a new
and better model that would allow us to reach many more students in many more institutions.
All institutions currently participating in the Perkins Program would be grandfathered
in. They would receive the same amount of resources that they are currently receiving
but we would be able to reach many, many more institutions and students by using a more
direct model for getting those loans out to students.
And then finally we have several new initiatives around the President's goal of becoming again
first in the world in terms of college completion. The first is $125 million dollars for an i3-like
program called the First in the World Competition, which would provide competitive grants to
grantees who have innovative approaches to college completion and productivity at the
postsecondary level. We also have a College Completion Incentive
Grant program. This would be a mandatory program that would be paid for with some of the offsets
we are using to shore up the Pell Grant program. In the first year, we have a startup grant
program at $50 million dollars and that would lead up to $1.25 billion dollars over five
years. And the idea is that we would provide rewards to institutions and states that put
in place mechanisms for increasing college completion for low-income students.
We have included an increase for the TRIO program so we can continue to support low-income
students seeking to attend and graduate from college, $67 million dollars, which would
allow us to ensure that the number of projects we are currently funding, some through the
discretionary funding stream and some through the mandatory funding stream, would all be
able to compete in the next competition. And we have provided continuing resources for
GEAR UP at $323 million. And then we also protected the investments
in minority-serving institutions, some of which are on the discretionary side and some
of which are on the mandatory side and enacted through the healthcare legislation.
And as I mentioned earlier, we have a new initiative, the Hawkins Centers of Excellence,
to help build teacher preparation programs and minority-serving institutions.
So, sorry to go through that laundry list. I am happy to answer any questions that you
have, and the hard ones I will give to Tom. I think we may want to go back to the Title
I slide that we might have jumped over. Did we?
Oh, sorry. My pages were double-sided. Yes, as the Secretary mentioned, one of the
other areas of focus for us is to protect formula programs targeted for at-risk students
and continue to support student success through Promise Neighborhoods; 21st Century Learning
Centers; and our Successful, Safe and Healthy Students initiative. The Promise Neighborhoods
program I mentioned is at $150 million and 21st Century has a $100 million dollar increase
in our budget. In terms of formula programs, we have a $300
million dollar increase for Title I for our Rewards initiative, $54 million for our Turnaround
Grants and a $200 million dollar increase for IDEA Part B, and as I mentioned a $50
million dollar increase for Part C. We have maintained funding for the English
Learner Education program at $750 million and also maintain funding for these various
funding streams targeted at particular at-risk students: migrant, neglected, and delinquent
youth, homeless, Indian, native Hawaiian, Alaskan, rural and Impact Aid.
We are not proposing that Title I become a competitive funding stream, contrary to popular
some people's belief. We would maintain the formula program and build on other initiatives
on top of that. Thanks, Massie.
So we have got microphones on both sides of the room, here and here. We ask that you speak
very directly into them. Give us your name. Tell us which organization you are with. And
again, we are webcasting this. And Carmel and Tom will take your questions. And let's
start over here with Jeff. Jeff Simering with Great City Schools. Let
me defer any questions on the budget and deal with the first funding challenge that we have,
which is the continuing resolution. Can you all give us some idea, some expectation
of where the Department and the Administration is going to be in terms of pushing back on
the funding cuts that have come out in the CR? And more specifically, will you all be
pushing back on the variety of cuts, including the formula grant programs as opposed to solely
Race to the Top, i3, and the Administration's highest priorities?
So the President looks forward to working with Congress to tackle these very difficult
budget debates. I think the information that we are giving you today demonstrates that
he thinks this is an area where we need to make additional investments. And you know
he is going to be making that case to the American people and to the members of Congress
as we continue with our rollout of our budget. And I am sure that will continue as we start
to negotiate on the 2011 funding cycle. Hi, Joel Packer with the Committee for Education
Funding. So I will start by following up with Jeff.
I would say that we would certainly hope and really expect that the President would issue
a veto threat over the House-proposed CR because I think the difference between your budget
and the House CR is so starkly different. They are proposing a $10 billion dollar cut
from the current CR levels and you are proposing a $5 billion dollar increase. So it is completely
opposite. So I would certainly hope the Administration takes a very firm line.
I have two questions about the proposal. On the Title I Rewards, can you explain a little
bit more, is that going to go out in the same formula? Or is that -- who decides what schools
get rewards? So it is part of our ESEA reauthorization
proposal. The funds would go out by states under the current formula and then states
would be able to decide how to send that money out to schools that are making the greatest
progress with their disadvantaged students. So the states decide the reward. Okay.
And then on the Perkins Loans again, I am not understanding it. It shows a savings in
2012 for Perkins but you are saying you are expanding the program. So can you just explain
that? Because we will be making the loans directly
from the Department of Education, it actually garners savings as we put that funding out.
But it would expand access in terms of both students and institutions.
Hi, my name is Sang Hahn with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
And I was wondering if you might be able to expand on the proposal to change the subsidies
for grad students. I think I am still having a hard time understanding exactly what the
proposal looks like. So essentially right now some graduate students
get subsidized student loans and some get unsubsidized student loans. In both instances,
the federal government guarantees the interest rate and guarantees against default. That
would still hold true. Under the subsidized program, the federal
government pays the cost of interest while the student is in school. In the unsubsidized
version, they do not. So, under our proposal graduate students would no longer have the
federal government paying their interest while they are in school.
So what you are basically saying is that they would no longer be eligible for the subsidized
loans. I mean, is that the bottom line here? Yes.
Okay. Hi. Cyndy Littlefield, Association of Jesuit
Colleges and Universities. First, I want to thank you immensely for saving
the SEOG program. It is vitally important to the 1700 some institutions and millions
of students who use that program. Second, on Perkins Loans. Again I thank the
Administration for this new initiative that we have been trying to pull together.
Carmel, following up on Joel's question, is that because of the recall coming back? And
also there is a technical question in the charts. Tom, in the back it says that the
recall is 2012. I think that was probably printed before the “Dear Colleague” coming
out to amend that date to 2014 on
the recall. Is that correct? It’s 2014. You know we have been over that
on the Perkins Loan and the way we look at it and CBO looks at it. And you know there
are federal funds ultimately in those, evolving funds at institutions and those would start
coming back to us. I understand, but isn't there going to be
a new direction of a “Dear Colleague” letter by the Department of Education changing
that date from 2012 to 2014 for recall of the revolving fund?
Based on -- we are currently at 2016. 2016. Okay, well that is better yet.
Well-- Okay. All right. Okay, I get that. But I was
really here to talk about Pell Grants. Cyndy, for the microphone, for our transcription,
will you summarize that so the whole room can hear it?
The revolving fund under current law would not need to come back until 2016 under the
policy in this budget. Once the new program is up and running, the revolving funds would
come back right away, although they are paid back as students pay their loans. So it is
not that the institution has to pay it back right away. It is just as the students pay
back their loans under the old program, that money would come back to the treasury.
Okay, that is understood. Thank you very much. On Pell Grants, while no one ever wants a
cut to Pell Grants, certainly the proposal does not take the heart away from Pell and
that is preserving the $5,550 maximum award. And so we are grateful for that.
I have to ask just a number question here. There is $100 billion dollar cut on Pell over
ten years, so roughly $10 billion a year. We know the basics for summer Pell, which
is $8 billion the first year and roughly $4 billion every year after that. So that is
a total of what, $44 to $45? And then I am just trying to add up the numbers so we get
to $100. So it is not a $100 billion dollar cut in
Pell. It is we need $100 billion dollars to maintain $5,550 for the students who are eligible.
Part of the $100 will come from suspending the two-Pell policy. Part of it will come
from the change in terms of graduate loan programs, part of it will come from the Perkins
proposal, and part of it will come from -- Loan conversion, in which students who have
both a direct loan and an FFEL loan can choose to get serviced just one time by the Department
of Education in direct loans. And that also saves money.
And then the fifth place it will come from is we are proposing an increase in the discretionary
baseline for Pell, which will carry forward into future years.
Okay, because when I added the first four numbers up, it comes up roughly $85.8, $86
billion, something like that. So then that will be taken care of by the discretionary
base, the rest of that. Is that correct? Yes.
Okay, thank you very much. Jim Kohlmoos from Knowledge Alliance.
I would like to, I am sure everybody in the room wants to, echo what Joel and Jeff said
earlier about the contrast between what the House did with the proposed CR and the President's
budget. And so I think we are all ready to help fight for the President's budget in that
regard, I hope, to a degree. I mean, there are a lot of different opinions here in this
room about specific things but I think when you look at how Education fared relative to
other agencies, this is pretty good news. I think it is really good news for the innovation
and R&D and improvement arenas. And I wanted to ask a little bit more about the ARPA-ED
concept and the $90 million dollars and how it is divided between $40 million mandatory
and $50 million discretionary. So again the program would be modeled after
the DARPA entity through the Department of Defense. Like that entity, our vision is that
it would stand with some level of independence from this Department of Education and the
idea would be to invest in R&D so we could try to help develop some of the most innovative
strategies for helping children to learn. Its focus would be from early childhood through
postsecondary education. There is $50 million dollars in our discretionary request to get
the program started. The President's overall budget also has a much larger innovation initiative
that stems from the sale of spectrum and a portion of that fund would also be directed
towards this initiative. So we are hedging our bets. We are trying to get the seed money
to get it going from both strategies but we would be thrilled to be able to get the full
$90 million. And that would grow in the second year. There would be $110 million in the second
year. Great. Thank you.
Good afternoon. My name is Kimberly Jones. I am with the Council for Opportunity in Education
and we represent TRIO. And I just wanted to publically thank the Secretary and Carmel
for the appropriated amount, the requested amount for the TRIO programs.
Up until this point, I have been getting lots of e-mails and phone calls from concerned
parents and professionals within the Upward Bound community wondering what was going to
happen to their program, to their students and to their jobs. And now I am getting jubilant
e-mails saying thank you so much, we have a chance. And so we just want to thank you
for giving them the opportunity to stay in there and hang in there when the next competition
comes around in FY12. Thank you. Thank you.
I still have a lollipop for you. Good afternoon. Robert Vinson Branham with
the DC Preservation of Civic Associations. The President in the past, along with Councilwoman
Eleanor Holmes Norton and our current mayor, opposes righteously and correctly private
school vouchers. Speaker Boehner and Senator Lieberman have introduced legislation to recreate
this failed program and mandate it in the District of Columbia.
Will the President continue to oppose this program that Eleanor Holmes Norton opposes,
Mayor Gray opposes, and many residents oppose, and threaten to veto that bill if it is passed?
So the President's budget continues his preexisting position on the program, which provides for
resources to allow the students who were in the program previously to be able to finish
their education in those schools but does not propose funding for any new students to
participate. And that continues to be his position that we should not propose for additional
vouchers to be made available. His focus is really on how we can build the public school
system and he has proposed increases for school turnaround initiatives so we can help to help
improve the schools for all students in the public system.
Will the President address that particular bill and say outright that he continues to
oppose it? I am not in a position to respond to a hypothetical
situation. You know the legislation --
I can just tell you what his position is on the program.
I will tell you, Robert, about a conversation the Secretary had with press and Senate leaders
from both parties recently, where there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm on either side
of the Senate leadership for that legislation either. Mary.
Hi. Mary Kusler with the National Education Association, still following up on Joel's
earlier question on the CR, the rewards under Title I.
I am still trying to figure out how formula-wise that works, given that three-quarters of the
formula technically is district-derived and the state is an aggregate of the district
allocations, how are you proposing to send this out via formula? Does it then become
a percentage set-aside at the state level in order to ensure, or is it literally just
run out on a separate line item? It would go out from the states to districts
for schools that have shown the greater growth in terms of student performance.
I'm trying to figure out how it goes to the states.
Oh, by formula. By the Title I formula, yes. By state shares, as a percentage, kind of
a percentage equivalent under the state shares under the Title I formula, and then it is
completely under state discretion as to how to distribute to local districts?
So our proposal sets the criteria that states would be using for distributing it based on
their performance with disadvantaged students, school performance with disadvantaged students.
Okay, thanks. Hi. My name is Ahniwake Rose and I work for
the National Congress of American Indians. And I am following up on that question and
also the Promise Neighborhoods piece and the Race to the Top and the rural piece.
I would like to thank you for acknowledging our Alaska native programs, our native Hawaiian
programs, our Indian Ed programs because often times we do see those cut. So it was nice
to see those and thank you very much. We are very concerned, though about if the
states have control over those pieces, often times our schools are completely left behind.
And the states often times don't work very closely with our tribes in disseminating those
funds. So I am hoping that you can talk about a little bit about how in your rural competitive
or your rural carve-outs and additionally in the Title I piece, how you are going to
facilitate an ongoing conversation with the states and the tribes and how they are working
together. So in the Title I rewards context, there would
be a set-aside for BIA schools. In terms of the Race to the Top district level initiative,
we would definitely work with you to ensure that Native American schools are also on equal
footing in terms of competing for those grants. Thank you.
Hi. I'm Katy Neas with the Easter Seals and I just wanted to say a huge thank you for
the Part C increase. This year is the 25th anniversary of the creation
of the Part C program. States are just really struggling to maintain their participation
and they are cutting back the number of kids they can serve and the kinds of services they
are providing. So this is a huge shot in the arm and we just can't thank you enough for
having us start the year from a place where there is hope where there wasn’t expected
to be. So thank you very much on behalf of a lot of little kids with disabilities.
Thanks. Doug Levin, State Educational Technology Directors
Association. First I would just echo the remarks about
FY11. So it would be terrific to hear more clarity from the Administration about the
path that they are going to take going forward. My comment and question -- I am certainly
supportive of the continued investments in next generation of assessment systems, including
Race to the Top assessment. These assessment systems are envisioned to be computer-based
or online. And my question really is in your budget, how do you see states and districts
really participating fully in those assessment programs without directed educational technology
investments? So we do have directed investments for states
to implement their assessment systems. There is $450 million dollars for that purpose.
So specifically assessments including developing the technology they need to implement those
programs. Part of the government-wide initiative that
I mentioned stems from spectrum sales, billions would go from that to help develop access
to broadband for schools across the country. So those are basically the two primary funding
streams. Right. The wireless initiatives would only
fund broadband. Is that correct? Not devices for use by teachers and students.
I actually don't know the answer to that. There is a broader wireless initiative, not
Department of Education, it is much bigger. I think it is five billion dollars.
Again, like the E-Ray which supports connectivity to schools. It does not support any devices
or support within the building itself. I don't know about that.
Again, we have $450 million dollars in our budget for states to implement assessment
programs. They can use that money for buying devices to implement the assessment systems.
Hi. My name is Jeff Carter from ProLiteracy and I, like others today, I want to thank
the Administration for increasing the investment in adult basic and literacy education. But
I have a couple of questions for clarification. In the budget you mention that state grants
have been increased to $635 million dollars but some of that money will be used for the
Workforce Innovation Fund. So I just want to understand -- does that mean then that
the formula funding for states in this proposal would actually be less than previous years'
levels? And my follow-up to that is will that competition
for the Workforce Investment Funds, will that be for programs, consortia or for states?
So it does maintain the level of formula funding. It does not reinstate an increase that we
put in the formula last year to deal with the fact that certain states did not get the
appropriate share of formula funding the year before. So there was a mistake in putting
out formula funds. Last year we added money in order to make those states whole. It doesn't
reestablish that because it was a one-time fix. This amount would allow us to keep formula
fund state grants level-funded while providing the new money for the Innovation Fund.
The grantees in the Innovation Fund, I think, would include any of the above in terms of
the ones that you mentioned. Tom is saying “yes.”
Right. In Adult Ed, and we have Innovation Funds in Voc Rehab also and Promise Neighborhoods.
And the Department of Labor is putting actually more resources than we are for this Innovation
Fund. We have got just under ten minutes for questions.
Scott Fleming from Georgetown University. I was here the last time a government shutdown
occurred so I probably should know this answer but I don't recall it.
We are new to the Direct Lending Program. It has gone remarkably smoothly, thank you.
But there is concern about what happens in terms of the ongoing processing of direct
lending in the event of a government shutdown. Do we know?
We are not really dusting off our shutdown plans at this point. OMB has said it is not
the time to do that. We have talked a little bit and thought a
little bit about direct lending in contracts, you know, when we have awarded contracts.
It depends on the situation in which you -- a hypothetical again -- you are talking
about a shutdown. Is it lack of appropriation? Is it lack of debt ceiling extension? It depends
on what it is. If it is just the former, lack of new appropriation, you know, we have contacts
that we have already obligated and those could continue.
We have some funds to service loans that would continue without a new appropriation but things
are a little bit different in 2011, compared to 1995/1996. We don't have a mandatory appropriation
for all of our administrative costs of the student aid programs. So we again let the
contracts to which we have obligated money pay out. Presumably we would have people that
could work on those contracts. It depends. If the Treasury Department people
weren't there, it might slow down the payment against some of those contracts and it would
also slow down their processing of anything they had to do involving the money that went
with the New Direct Loans. So, we have thought about your question some,
Scott, and decided that we have got to wait and see. Like with many of these instances,
what happens in final legislation or lack of legislation, what is the worry and what
is the situation? We are just not there and I think it is premature to do that. I would
not panic at this point. Thanks, Tom.
Jacque Minow with National Parent Teacher Association. And again, we also appreciate
the overall increased investment in education. However, we do have a question on the proposed
consolidation for the Expanding Educational Opportunities, which consolidates both programs,
one of which being the PIRCs, Parental Information and Resource Centers. As you all know, they
have currently been, over the course of the past couple years, undergoing a transformation
within the Department and are working on a refined role as statewide leaders and capacity
building for implementing best practices in family engagement, which we believe extends
beyond parental choice for public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools. And in
the Expanding Educational Opportunities language, we don't see any reflection of that role,
beyond choice. Could you just speak to family engagement
in the overall budget? So in our overall budget we are proposing,
and part of our reauthorization proposal is to double the amount of funds within Title
I directed towards parental engagement, family engagement. Also under our Safe, Successful,
and Healthy Students initiative, we would provide competitive grants to folks working
on parent and community engagement in that context as well.
Okay, thanks. Hi. Alicia Dowd from the Center for Urban
Education at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
I see in your briefing booklet in regard to the College Completion Innovation Grants that
the goal of closing gaps among racial and ethnic groups is included in the college completion
goals. The focus of our center is on creating tools that institutions of higher education
need to bring about equity in college completion. So I want to endorse that goal and also to
ask what would be the manner of setting performance goals, particularly in relation to equity
as we increase college completion? And also by what mechanism would public institutions
be faced with a mandatory participation expectation? So in terms of goal setting and metrics, we
would focus on Pell recipients. There would be a very strong focus on ensuring that as
folks increase their completion rates, it is not at the expense of disadvantaged groups.
I believe the proposal is -- I know it is --
Mandatory money? Well, mandatory for participation.
Grants to states and all schools in the state would be eligible, whether public or private
schools. So it would be up to the states to set up
these, to answer some of your questions, some of the goals and how they are going to operate.
So the funding would flow to states; if the state participates, all of their public institutions
must participate. Private institutions could participate at their discretion. So I think
that was your question. So states can opt in to the incentive funding
and if so, all public institutions must be part of opting in?
Yes. Okay, thank you.
My name if Frank Ballman. I am from NASSGAP, which is State Student Grant and Aid Programs.
And first of all I want to commend the Administration and the Department on fully funding Pell.
The question I have relates, and maybe you can shed some light on the College Completion
Incentive Grants, and the particular concern of our members with the ELITE program being
zero-funded, and we see a lot of rising juniors and seniors whose bridge to graduation might
be slipping away with the funding gaps. So the question really is, is there a mechanism
in the CCIG perhaps to provide the grants directly to students?
So the proposal is structured so that states -- like LEAP -- for states to participate,
they have to demonstrate that they are putting in place policies that would help low-income
students to be able to go to college and complete, things like continuing commitment to their
own need-based aid programs. And in addition to some other policies, we are asking them
to take on making it easier for students to transfer within the state, setting college
completion goals, and setting up a plan for how they are going to help their students
to complete. So the participation would be at the state's
option. They would need to show that they are willing to contribute to college completion
by tackling these policies. And then the students in that state would be able to participate
only if the state had done those things. Jamie Baxter, the Association for Career and
Technical Education. And you mentioned support for high-quality
CTE programs. But by just cutting funds, then you take funds away from those high-quality
CTE programs. So I was just curious to know the logic behind that.
So our plan is to work with Congress to be able to retool those investments, so they
are directed at high-quality and effective programs.
It is our perspective that much of the current funding is not going to effective programs,
although there are many effective programs out there. So we would like to retool the
program so it does get the best outcomes for students. And then frankly, in just a very
tough budget year, we had to prioritize other programs that we thought would be better levers
for students. Winfield Crigler with the Student Loan Servicing
Alliance and I have got two quick questions on your student loan proposals.
For the graduate student interest subsidy, right now a graduate student can get $20,500
in Stafford; $8,500 in sub, and $12,000 in unsub. You are not saying that they can only
borrow $12,000. Right? You are saying they can still borrow $20,500 but it will all be
unsub. Yes.
Okay. And then on the debt conversion, is this all existing FFEL debt or is this split-borrowers
who have DL and FFEL debt? The latter. The borrowers would have to have
a DL and a FFEL. Okay. And will they become a direct loan so
that they would be eligible for public service loan forgiveness or would they merely be a
FFEL loan held by the Department? A FFEL loan held by the Department, same loans,
terms and conditions. Would they be eligible for consolidation later?
Yes. They could consolidate.
Okay, thank you. Stay right over here. Stay in line. We have
got to wrap up shortly. Libby Nealis with the School Social Workers
Association of America. With regards to the consolidations under Successful, Safe, and
Healthy Students, currently the bulk of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools’ programs go
to formulas to the states and the rest are the other more specific grants.
That changed a couple years ago. I know, but what are the plans for these?
I keep hearing about competitive grants going to the states with all these other Safe School,
Healthy initiatives that are no longer in the separate grant programs. What is the vision
of the Department in disseminating these to the states?
We currently in our budget have no formula funds under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools
Office. They are competitive. Currently there are multiple small competitive funding streams.
Our vision that is part of our reauthorization proposal is to have a much larger funding
stream that would be competed out to states or to districts to put in place programs designed
around school safety, children's health, and building bridges to parents and communities.
A big focus of the program would be to provide funding to states to develop school climate
surveys so we could also measure the impact of these programs in terms of surveying students,
parents, and teachers about the climate in their school and the needs of their school
in terms of building safe and healthier environments. There is a big emphasis on working in collaboration
with community-based organizations and building those safer and healthier environments in
schools. I just keep hearing, it sounds like a lot
of different things are kind of being pulled into this emphasis but nothing seems very
specific as far as schools being able to count on these kinds of monies for programs.
Well, I am happy to give you additional information. I think it is a pretty clear plan that instead
of having a bunch of fragmented programs that a lot of schools frankly don't even know about,
we are going to have one substantial funding stream that they are going to be able to apply
for on a competitive basis, and develop these comprehensive programs to improve school safety,
student health, and links to the community. We think all of those things are required
to build a healthy school environment. Do children feel safe? What do we need to do
to help them to feel safe? Do they feel safe from bullying, safe from other outside actors?
Is the community being called upon to help build a community-based program to build the
school climate? You know we can give you a lot more details
on the proposal, but we think it is a good one.
Ask your questions quickly. Yes, ma'am. Joan Almon, Alliance For Childhood.
I was very glad to see that the Early Learning Challenge Fund is back on the page again.
And I want to thank the Administration for that.
And I noticed that there is a focus on outcomes, which is appropriate. But most often outcomes
of preschool are measured by how well children do in kindergarten. Almost all programs look
alike for a year or two. The real difference shows up when children are nine or ten.
So I want to put in a strong plea that those outcomes are looked at over a longer period,
especially the strengths of play-based programs that show up over a longer period, compared
to didactic programs. Thank you. Thank you. We do appreciate that.
As Jacquelyn Jones who I think might be here often emphasizes, we think about early learning
from a zero-to-third grade timeframe for exactly that reason.
If you have more questions we are doing a call for early learning stakeholders at 4:00.
I can give you information afterward with our friends at HHS.
Last question right over here. Hi. I'm Libby Masiuk from the Institute for
College Access and Success. I have got a quick question about FAFSA.
I have heard that the Department will be releasing their administrative plan for increasing IRS
pre-population concurrent with the budget. And we were just wondering when we could expect
that and details about it. Very, very soon. There is a document in clearance
right now that would give more details about that.
Okay, great. Thank you. Okay. Thank you, Carmel. Thank you, Tom. Thank
you folks who tuned in online. Thank you folks in the room.
It is Valentine's Day. I felt a lot of love today. Thank you.
Just a plug for our Labor Management Conference kicking off tomorrow in Denver. We have 150
school districts from 40 states joining us to talk about student-centered labor management
relationships. You can watch online at ed.gov. Have a great day, everybody. Thanks.
(Whereupon, at 1:35 p.m., the foregoing proceeding was adjourned.)