Budget and Appropriations
Historically, the federal government has directed billions of dollars to improve kindergarten and elementary grades, and to support access to a college education. Correspondingly, the nation’s younger students—particularly in recent years—have made demonstrable gains in reading and math while America’s postsecondary system of colleges and universities remains the envy of the world.
At the same time, however, federal government funding has almost ignored middle and high schools, and again results follow effort. Nearly 1.2 million students leave high school each year without a diploma—that is nearly 7,000 new high school dropouts every school day.
As shown in the chart to the right, while annual funding for grades Pre-K–6 totals nearly $18 billion and funding for postsecondary education totals over $21 billion, the nation’s secondary schools are stuck in the “missing middle.” Annually, the federal contribution to grades 7–12 is only about $6 billion. (Click on the chart for more information, including additional details on which programs fund which school year.)
Fiscal Year 2012 Budget and Appropriations
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, which began on October 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education is currently being funding under a temporary continuing resolution. Funding levels for specific education programs under the continuing resolution are available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget12/12actioncr.pdf.
Fiscal Year 2011 Budget and Appropriations
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will receive $45.4 billion in discretionary federal funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 based on the spending plan that ED submitted to Congress last week. Compared to the previous year, this amount represents a cut of $1.25 billion, or 2.7 percent. Excluding the 0.2 percent across-the-board cut to every program, forty-seven education programs were cut and another thirty-eight were eliminated. Four programs received an increase.