President’s FY 2017 Budget – Education Proposals

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Budget Committee today released its fourth in a series of analyses of the President’s FY 2017 Budget submission. The February 18, 2016, Budget Bulletin is focused on the Budget’s education proposals. The Budget Bulletin provides regular expert articles by Senate Budget Committee analysts on the issues before Congress relating to the budget, deficits, debt, and the economy.

Read the full Senate Budget Bulletin here.

Excerpts follow:

Education Overview

President Barack Obama’s 2017 budget proposal creates five new mandatory spending programs, transforms the Perkins Loan program into a mandatory direct loan program, expands the mandatory portion of the Pell Grant program, and increases spending on mandatory teacher loan forgiveness.

Spending, or outlays, on the five new mandatory programs together would total $137.5 billion over the 10-year budget window. In addition, mandatory Pell spending would increase by $36 billion and teacher loan forgiveness by $1.7 billion, for a total of $175.2 billion in proposed new mandatory spending.

On the discretionary side, the president proposes a $1.3 billion increase in total budget authority for 2017, which would raise the department’s discretionary budget from $68.1 billion to $69.4 billion – a 1.9 percent increase. For Title I grants to local education agencies, the centerpiece of the recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the president requests $15.4 billion in budget authority for 2017 – a $450 million increase.

The 2017 discretionary budget request also includes an additional 269 full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs), which would bring the department’s total number from 4,269 to 4,538 – a 5.9 percent increase. This increase includes an added 164 FTEs in the Office for Civil Rights, which would increase its staffing by 28 percent. The Office of Federal Student Aid would add 84 FTEs in order to enhance oversight of post-secondary-aid programs and contracts.

The president also proposes major changes to higher education tax benefits for individuals, with $46 billion of their aggregate $48.8 billion 10-year cost due to increased outlays (or spending) arising from refundable-tax-credit payments to individuals and families with no tax liability.

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