FY2020 Federal Education Budget Includes Increases for Multiple ESSA Programs


Just before the holidays, the US Congress passed, and Trump signed an appropriations bill into law that funds education for the 2020-2021 school year. The funding for education includes increases for many programs with a $1.3 Billion increase overall. School districts that receive Title I, Title III, or other federal education program funding will likely see an increase in per-pupil funding in the 20-21 school year. More information about funding levels for specific programs can be found in this Education Week article.

Earlier in 2019, the Trump Administration proposed eliminating up to 29 federal education programs, including Title II, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and Special Olympics Education Programs. The appropriations bill for the FY2020 federal education budget passed on December 18th essentially ignores this proposal and actually includes an increase of funds for many of these programs. Some of the programs that saw an increase include:

  • $400 million increase for Title I
  • $30 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs
  • $5 million increase for GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)
  • $40 million increase for Title III, a program that was not proposed for elimination, but which has not seen an increase in funding for multiple years

The fact that Congress ignored Trump's proposal shows that he continues to be out of step with the fact that Congress was intentional about the programs it authorized for funding when it passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015.

Passage of the FY2020 Appropriations Bill occurred just before the deadline of December 20, 2019, and funds the government through September 30, 2020. None of the programs the Trump Administration proposed for elimination for the FY2020 budget saw a decrease in funding. Given that some of these programs were funded at higher levels than the previous year, the additional per-pupil funds that may be available could result in more staff available to serve students and potentially more students served by these programs.

Dr. David Holbrook

About The Author

Dr. David Holbrook is a nationally recognized leader in federal programs administration and monitoring with expertise in Title I, Title III, Native American Education, and Federal Programs. Dr. Holbrook has also worked as a consultant with Title III of the US Department of Education and now serves as Executive Director, Federal Compliance and State Relationships with TransAct.