Monday, the President submitted his proposed budget to Congress. This budget is a disappointment to CEC and its members because the President failed to live up to his promise to fully fund IDEA. Furthermore, although the Administration did not propose to eliminate the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Student’s Act, it would consolidate it with two other programs into a new fund called the College Pathways and Accelerated Learning fund. At the very least, this would eliminate Javits’ dedicated funding stream and place its future in jeopardy.
As a candidate, President Obama stated that full funding for IDEA would be a priority. Yet, his budget ignores this pledge. Instead of a real commitment to students with disabilities, Part B Grants for States would only receive a nominal increase of $250 million dollars – just enough to maintain its FY 2009 funding level at 17% of the full 40% Congress initially promised in 1975. All other IDEA programs, excluding Technology and Media Services which would be cut by $2.75 million dollars, would remain at fiscal year 2009 levels. For example, Part B Section 619 would receive $374,099,000 and Part C would receive $439,427,000. To see a chart with exact numbers click here.
Most importantly, this budget completely fails to acknowledge or address the funding cliff states are facing when the economic stimulus monies run out in September 2010. By doing so, it ignores the great pressures on state and local programs which have already been deeply cut.
JavitsIf the President’s request is enacted, Javits would be combined with two other programs placing its funding in jeopardy. As the only federal investment in gifted education, the Javits program sustains the National Research Center for Gifted and Talented Education and demonstration grants intended to support identification and services for students with gifts and talents. Despite this important work, the Administration proposes to consolidate Javits, the Advanced Placement Program and the High School Graduation Initiative into one fund - the College Pathways and Accelerated Learning fund.
Disturbingly, this new fund would receive only $100 million dollars. This is $2.75 million less than the amount needed to fund all three of these programs at last year’s levels. Additionally, the Administration has not offered any details about which program would lose funding or how, when, or who would make that decision. Thus, while not entirely eliminated, Javits future is uncertain.CEC is working to engage and educate Congress on the need for more funding for IDEA and Javits and to better understand how any changes may play out. Stay tuned for more information about the budget and how it will impact your school, program and students.