President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for next year calls for funding increases for education, with early childhood programs, teacher development and training initiatives, and a push for free community college tuition among the highlights.
The president is asking for $71 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education – a 5.4 percent increase over current funding, according to budget information released Monday. The package was part of Obama’s overall $4 trillion budget proposal for 2016.
Among the highlights:
- $750 million – a $500 million increase – to expand the Preschool Development Grants program, which helps increase preschool options for children from low- and moderate-income families. The president is also calling for $75 billion over the next 10 years for his Preschool for All proposal, to expand preschool offerings to 4-year-olds.
- $5 billion over the next five years for a “Teaching for Tomorrow” program to support training and recruitment of new teachers, and professional development for current teachers.
- $60.3 billion to offer two years of free community college to students making steady progress toward a degree.
- $200 million for a new “American Technical Training Fund” to promote job training programs in high-demand fields.
- $125 million for a new competitive grant program to “redesign” high school, especially for programs that focus on science, engineering and math instruction.