Federally and state-funded education has changed considerably over the past few years, as new circumstances have required new money allocations. For example, teachers and students needed funding for COVID-19 safety precautions and remote learning needs. But as the world adjusts as needed, what are the budget proposals for education in 2023? First, let’s take a closer look at the budget request federally and what has changed since the 2022 proposal last year.
In 2022, the budget request made investments in American education through the American Rescue Plan. This trend will continue into 2023, with more attention given to the apparent inequalities of students. The gap has only been widened because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transitions that became necessary. In general, the fiscal year budget asked for $88.3 billion. This is an increase of the 2022 budget request by 20.9%.
According to the Biden Administration’s budget proposal, they strive to “increase aid for schools with high-poverty rates; helping meet the needs of students with disabilities, and expanding access to higher education and increasing college completion.”
K-12 education budget allocation
Regarding K-12 education, some investments are being proposed that would specifically target schools and administrations with high poverty rates. These budget increases would be historically high for this demographic. The Budget includes “$20.5 billion in discretionary funding and $16 billion in mandatory funding.”
Discretionary funding means that the school or district can decide how to use the funding or if they even need it. On the other hand, mandatory funding is money that goes directly to the school either way. The combined Budget increases double the amount that was previously allocated. The money comes to the schools and $36.5 billion for Title I. This program helps “disadvantaged students meet state academic content and performance standards.”
Here are the main focuses that the Budget hopes to address by increasing the funding:
- Health and well-being are a priority
- More support for students with disabilities
- Increase funding for full-service community schools
- More attention to hiring good educators
- Retaining teachers and administrators
- Support for students who are learning English as a second language
Beyond this, the Biden Administration strives to increase high school graduation rates and transition to postsecondary education.
Finding higher education
Anyone connected to the education system in America knows that college and university tuition rates are notoriously high. One of the commitments the Biden Administration hopes to keep is to make post-secondary education more affordable. For example, “the Budget would increase
the maximum Pell Grant by $2,175. This would hopefully decrease the financial barrier some students face when getting a higher education.”
Additional boosts in funding
There is also attention given to more niche areas that have been previously left out of the Budget.
While there was previously some funding for diverse schools, more money is being allocated to fostering these educational systems. For example, in the 2023 budget proposal, “$100 million for a grant program to help communities voluntarily develop and implement strategies to promote racial and socioeconomic diversity in their schools and classrooms.”
Funding specific universities
The budget proposal offers additional funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCUs). These schools and universities are often underfunded and have a lower capacity due to a lack of resources. In 2023, the proposal has increased by $752 million.
Student debt has been burdening students for decades at this point. As of 2022, student loan debt is about $1.7 trillion, according to the most recent statistics. The Budget offers $2.65 billion to the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). This is also a notable increase from the 2022 budget.
Increase the skilled workforce
A well-educated workforce is beneficial in the long term and boosts the overall economy. This was taken into consideration when creating the 2023 budget proposal. There is specific attention to skilled laborers, technical training, and career expansions. This includes more funding for adult education.
Here are more components of the budget proposal that will impact educators and students:
- $1.1 billion for English Language Acquisition State Grants
- $161 million for ED’s Office for Civil Rights
- $1 billion for a new School-Based Health Professionals program
- $132.1 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships
An overall increase in federal support
The federal government has severely increased its support for education funding. This includes education attention from birth through college. The government is focusing on five core themes throughout their budget creation:
- Supporting students through pandemic response and recovery over the long term
- Address opportunity and achievement gaps
- Supporting a talented and diverse educator workforce
- Making higher education inclusive and affordable
- Building pathways through postsecondary education that leads to successful careers