Uproar over education budget cuts premature, Congress favors increase in funding


In the wake of the Special Olympics taking place in Abu Dhabi, the internet has been in an uproar over the education budget proposals and the suggestion that the government funding for the Special Olympics will be all but completely cut going forward. Betsy Devos, the Secretary of Education famous for her lack of knowledge in the education field, was the figurehead responsible for announcing these budgetary proposals. It was the combination of the extreme cuts and the history of Devos which sparked outrage.

The proposed cuts total about $6.7 billion from the education budget, about a ten percent decrease from last year. These cuts include billions from programs like teacher grants and after school programming.

“As I said then, and I’ll say again, we had to make tough choices and decisions around the budget priorities,” Devos told Richard J. Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.

Both the House and the Senate, though still working through disagreements, favor a significant increase in funding education.

She stayed adamant in support of the plan she presented, even under fire from Congress. The breaking point for Devos, though, was when the President claimed to have “overridden” his own people and personally saved the Special Olympics.

Devos came out in support for the funding for the Special Olympics after Trump’s declaration, claiming it was something she had been pushing in private for years. In fact, Devos donates a portion of her salary yearly to the program.

The actual origin of the education budget proposals is the White House and Trump’s administration. Trump’s claim to have personally saved the very thing he was pushing to cut was therefore contradictory.

The proposed budget released by the administration actually doesn’t have any bearing over the Supreme Court’s actual budgetary decisions and is likely to be disregarded in real time policy just as the administration’s budgets from the past two years have been.

Congress regularly overrules any suggestions of educational cuts, recently holding strong to the concept of less federal involvement in the mainly state and locally centered program. In fact, on April 3, the House passed House Bill Three, which gives all school employees a pay raise of $1,850 on average. The bill also puts $6.3 billion into public education and $2.7 billion toward slowing the growth of school district property taxes. The bill ends the “Robin Hood” payments made by wealthy districts, payments which AISD has been making to help our school district.

Likewise, the Senate has proposed $2.3 billion for school finance reform and $2.7 billion for property tax relief. There is not yet a clear plan on how this would be distributed or applied, but the sentiment is still present.

Despite what the Republican White House has proposed and is continuing to push, Congress is pushing back in force. The changes being passed in the Senate, in fact, include $4.8 billion more added to education spending than the original proposed budget in January. Both the House and the Senate, though still working through disagreements, favor a significant increase in funding education.

Congress has made it increasingly clear they intend to continue brushing off suggestions for education cuts. Cutting funding to the Special Olympics is out of the question, deemed insensitive and unnecessary. Special Education, along with education as a whole, will remain a priority.