President Obama has sent to Congress the Administration's fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request. Although the Administration's budget request calls for a $3 trillion reduction in the deficit over the next 10 years, the proposed cuts do not extend to education spending. In fact, the President is seeking $69.8 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education for FY2013, a $1.7 billion increase over FY2012 levels. Consistent with the Administration's past budget requests, the education budget and funding increases focus primarily on their policy priorities, including extending Race to The Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), and school modernization.
Unfortunately for ASHA's school-based members, the President's budget request does not include any increases for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) Part B State Grants, but instead maintains the $11.6 billion level appropriated in FY2012 for FY2013. The federal share for IDEA will fall to 15.8% under the President's budget request for FY2013, following a downward trend from the 16.4% in 2011 to 16.3% for 2012.
It is mixed news for other IDEA programs in the Administration's budget, request including
- IDEA Part C Grants for Infants and Families = +$20 million (+4.5%)
- IDEA Part D State Personnel Development = +$1.1 million (+2.5%)
- IDEA Part D Personnel Preparation = -$2.5 million (-2.8%).
Further complicating the funding picture for FY2012 is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA, aka the Stimulus Bill) funding for both Title I and IDEA, which will be exhausted by the end of the current school year. In addition, there is the prospect of automatic spending cuts (sequestration) in January 2013 created by the Deficit Reduction Control Act. If Congress and the President do not reach an agreement to reduce the deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years, automatic cuts of 7%–9.5% would take effect.
ASHA members are reminded that this budget request is just that, a request. Congress maintains control of the nation's purse strings. The budget request can be viewed as a document that identifies the President's policy priorities and begins a negotiation process toward a spending agreement expected sometime after the fall elections.
For additional information, please contact Neil Snyder, ASHA's director of federal advocacy, at 800-498-2071, ext. 5614, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.