U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Summary — May 7, 2009


Section IV.  Programs Proposed for Elimination


The following table shows the programs proposed for elimination or consolidation in the President's 2010 budget request. The 2010 request reflects the Administration's commitment to eliminating programs that national evaluations indicate are ineffective or, duplicative of other authorities, or are poorly structured to accomplish their objectives.

Termination of these 12 programs will free up $550.7 million—based on 2009 levels—for education programs that will help close the achievement gap, accelerate the learning of those that are the furthest behind, and promote effective teaching and attract the best and brightest into the profession.

Following the table is a brief summary of each program and the rationale for its elimination.

Program Eliminations

Program (2009 BA in millions)
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants $294.8
Even Start 66.5
College Access Challenge Grant Program 66.0
Mentoring 48.5
Civic Education 33.5
Character Education 11.9
Ready to Teach 10.7
Javits Gifted and Talented Education 7.5
National Institute for Literacy 6.5
Academies for American History and Civics 1.9
Close Up Fellowships 1.9
Foundations for Learning 1.0

Program Descriptions
(figures reflect 2009 BA in millions)

Academies for American History and Civics $1.9  

This program, which makes 3 or 4 awards annually to support workshops for teachers and students in the areas of history and civics, is too small to have an impact on history and civics achievement nationally. The Administration proposes to replace it (along with Civic Education and Close Up Fellowships) with a competition under the Fund for the Improvement of Education.

Character Education $11.9  

Provides funds for State and local educational agencies to design and implement programs to improve elementary and secondary education by teaching students about caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, and giving. Character education activities would be supported instead by a new initiative under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Activities program that would support similar goals by promoting strategies to change school culture and climate.

Civic Education $33.5  

Provides a non-competitive award to the Center for Civic Education to conduct We the People, a program to improve the quality of civics and government education. Also makes non-competitive and competitive awards for the Cooperative Education Exchange, a program to improve civic and economic education through exchange programs. This non-competitive award would be replaced by a broader grant competition under the Fund for the Improvement of Education.

Close Up Fellowships $1.9  

Provides a non-competitive award to the Close Up Foundation to support fellowships to low-income students and teachers participating in Close Up visits to Washington, DC and other activities. Peer organizations provide scholarships to participants without Federal assistance, and the organization's successful private fundraising indicates that it can continue its activities without a Federal appropriation. This non-competitive award would be replaced by a broader grant competition under the Fund for the Improvement of Education.

College Access Challenge Grant Program $66.0  

Provides formula grants to States to foster partnerships among Federal, State, and local government entities and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education. This program would be replaced by the much larger and better structured College Access and Completion Fund, for which the Administration is requesting $2.5 billion over 5 years to focus on the twin goals of college access and completion.

Even Start $66.5  

Supports projects to improve educational opportunities for children and their parents in low-income areas by integrating early childhood education, adult education, and parenting education into "family literacy" programs. However, three separate national evaluations of the program reached the same conclusion: children and adults participating in Even Start generally make no greater literacy gains than non-participants. The Administration believes that the resources currently used for Even Start would be better directed to more promising or effective early childhood programs, including the proposed Early Learning Challenge Fund (a component of the Zero-to-Five initiative) and existing programs like Early Reading First, Head Start, and Early Head Start that have demonstrated real benefits for children.

Foundations for Learning $1.0  

This program funds services for children and their families to promote the emotional, behavioral, and social development of at-risk children. The program's small size and broad reach make it difficult to evaluate performance and measure outcomes. The Administration is proposing to reallocate these funds to the Mental Health Integration program, which helps link school-based systems with local mental health service systems to provide affordable, comprehensive services that foster children's healthy development. The President's 2010 budget also would make much larger investments supporting similar goals in programs such as the new Early Learning Challenge Fund, Early Reading First, Special Education Preschool Grants, and Special Education Grants for Infants and Families.

Javits Gifted and Talented Education $7.5  

Supports research, demonstration projects, and other activities designed to help elementary and secondary schools meet the needs of gifted and talented students. Most gifted and talented education programs in the U.S. are implemented without Federal support, and the program, by making a handful of grants each year, does little to increase the availability of gifted and talented programs in schools, increase the quality of those programs, or advance the field of gifted and talented education nationally.

Mentoring Program $48.5  

Makes grants to LEAs and nonprofit community-based organizations to establish and support mentoring programs and activities for children who are at risk of educational failure. A recent impact evaluation of the program conducted by the Institute for Education Sciences found the program to be ineffective. In addition, many other Federal programs in more than a dozen agencies support mentoring activities. For example, the President's budget request includes funding for programs in the Department of Justice and the Corporation for National and Community Service that support mentoring for disadvantaged youth.

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) $6.5  

Despite nearly 2 decades of operations, NIFL has demonstrated little success in its mission of providing national leadership on literacy issues, coordinating Federal literacy programs and policies, and serving as a national resource for adult education and literacy programs. Federal literacy activities remain diffuse and duplicative, and the Administration believes that the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is better positioned to provide effective national literacy leadership and coordination. Folding NIFL's functions into OVAE also would allow all of its resources to be used for national activities rather than for staffing and overhead, which currently absorb almost half of NIFL's appropriation.

Ready to Teach $10.7  

Makes competitive awards to nonprofit telecommunications entities for programs to improve teaching in core curriculum areas, and to develop, produce, and distribute educational and instructional video programming. Funds are requested under the Fund for the Improvement of Education in the Innovation and Improvement account for a grant competition that would support digital professional development for teachers.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants $294.8  

This State formula grant program, which is intended to help create and maintain drug-free, safe, and orderly environments for learning in and around schools, has not demonstrated effectiveness, and grant funds are spread too thinly to support quality interventions. The Administration believes better results may be obtained by redirecting a portion of this funding to Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Activities for direct support, in amounts sufficient to make a real difference, for targeted school safety and drug prevention and education activities that will add to the national knowledge base on program effectiveness and best practices.

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For further information contact the ED Budget Service.

This page last modified—May 7, 2009 (mjj).