This year’s proposed federal budget includes cuts to education totaling $8.5 billion (or about 12%), including the elimination of 29 programs. The Trump Administration has also proposed to eliminate the $2.1 billion Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants), which helps to support teacher salaries and professional development.
In the area of special education, the budget proposed last week by US Secretary Education Betsy DeVos created a highly publicized firestorm when she proposed cutting the $18 million federal dollar contribution for the Special Olympics. The notion that such a cut would actually occur was quickly dispatched after public opinion proved to be very much against it. However, there is much more to consider when considering cuts to other special education programs.
To begin with, the USDE is proposing a $7 million (nearly 10%) cut to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and a $5 million (nearly 17%) cut in funds for the American Printing House for the Blind. Gallaudet University, a federally chartered private university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing, would incur a $13 million (nearly 10%) cut in federal funding. $12 million for research regarding gifted ed. students would also be eliminated. There are no proposed cuts to special education grants to states.
According to the budget proposal, the above cuts are needed to “support the President’s goal of increasing support for national security and public safety without adding to the Federal budget deficit.” It is, however, highly unlikely that many or even all of the cuts to special education mentioned above would pass since they are proving to be highly unpopular.