Education Initiatives Round Out President's Proposed Budget

Earlier this week, President Obama announced his proposed budget for 2012. The spending plan is characterized by cost-cutting in some 200 federal programs, but education has mostly avoided the chopping block. Learn about some of the education initiatives the president has targeted for funding.

By Douglas Fehlen

President Obama 2012 budget education initiatives funding Race to the Top Pell Grant

President Gets Behind Innovation and Higher Ed

Posts earlier this week examined two major education priorities from President Obama's proposed 2012 budget. Race to the Top, an initiative that awards grants to districts implementing school reforms, is slotted to receive $1.4 billion. And the federal Pell Grant program, which provides grants to low-income students attending college, has been targeted for a $5 billion increase in funding.

These initiatives are two of the most prominent programs in the Department of Education budget, but many other programs are also set to receive funding under the president's plan. 'Even as we cut out things that we can afford to do without,' President Obama explained, 'we have a responsibility to invest in those areas that will have the biggest impact in our future - and that's especially true when it comes to education.'

Title I. This program is designed to 'ensure that all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.' Financial support is provided to schools working to educate kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program is slated for an additional $300 million in the president's budget.

School Turnaround Grants. Also targeted to schools serving students who are at risk of failing academically, this program provides grants to districts that demonstrate progress in making academic gains. The initiative has been slated for a $54 million increase in funding.

Investing in Innovation Fund. This program, designed to stimulate school reform, awards grants to schools implementing evidence-based practices that help to close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates and improve teacher effectiveness. It's set to receive $300 million.

Charter School Expansion. Charter schools are viewed by President Obama and DOE leadership, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, as a vital factor in school reform. The proposed budget reflects this, slating $372 million for charter expansion.

Promise Neighborhoods. This program provides funding for K-12 partnerships with nonprofits and higher ed institutions. The intention is to create an environment in which children can get on an academic track that allows them to attend college. The program is set to receive $150 million.

Other programs to draw support in President Obama's proposed budget include an initiative designed to provide students with a well-rounded education, school safety programs and plans to reinvigorate ESL education. The president also allocated funds for the creation of a new government agency that would research and develop technologies effective in learning.

Learn about Minds Matter, an organization that helps young people from low-income households prepare for and succeed in college.

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