FY 2000 Budget Summary - February 1999

Summary of the 2000 Budget

Over the past six years President Clinton has worked with the Congress to enact the most comprehensive, wide-ranging elementary and secondary education reforms in history. The Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the Improving America?s Schools Act, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, the Reading Excellence Act, and Class Size Reduction?allED Discretionary Appropriations 1996-2000 were designed to help States and school districts put into place challenging standards for all students. This new legislation was accompanied by substantial new budgetary resources, as the Department of Education?s discretionary budget rose from $23.0 billion in fiscal year 1996 to $33.5 billion in fiscal year 1999, an increase of $10.5 billion or 46 percent.

Partly as a result of these efforts, nearly every State has set higher standards for public schools, and there are promising signs of real progress toward meeting those higher standards. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), for example, has shown significant increases in the percentages of 4th grade students scoring at both the basic and proficient achievement levels, particularly among students in high-poverty schools. The National Education Goals Panel reported that between 1990 and 1996, 27 States significantly increased the percentage of 8th graders scoring at either the Proficient or the Advanced level on the NAEP math test.

Several States have made remarkable progress in a very short period of time. Texas, for example, increased the percentage of its 4th grade students scoring at the Proficient or Advanced levels on the NAEP math test from 15 percent in 1992 to 25 percent in 1996. North Carolina more than doubled the percentage of its 8th graders reaching the same standard in mathematics achievement, from 9 percent in 1990 to 20 percent in 1996.

When the Rand Corporation set out to identify the factors accounting for the success of North Carolina and Texas in improving student achievement, it found that both States had pursued education policies that aligned standards, curricula, and assessments and that held schools accountable for student academic performance.

The President?s 2000 budget request for education is designed to help bring that same combination of standards and accountability that is working so well for Texas and North Carolina to every State and school district in the Nation.

The President is requesting $34.7 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education in fiscal year 2000, an increase of $1.2 billion or 3.7 percent over the 1999 level.

Major increases in the 2000 request include $400 million for after school enrichment activities under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, $320 million to bring new accountability and turn around low-performing schools in the Title I program, $200 million to hire more teachers in the new Class-Size Reduction program, $190 million for Adult Education programs that improve literacy and help immigrants learn English, and $120 million to provide new pathways to college for disadvantaged students through the GEAR UP initiative. College financial aid also continues to increase in the 2000 budget with a $125 boost in the maximum Pell Grant and increases for Work-Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

Total Department Appropriations
(in billions of dollars)


















The Department?s 2000 request is complemented by significant non-discretionary investments in education, including a renewed School Construction and Modernization tax incentive, the HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax benefits that families are claiming for the first time this year, and the e-rate subsidies for educational technology. In particular, the School Construction proposal?which the President is making for the third year in a row?would support $22 billion in interest-free bonds to help build new schools to ease overcrowding, make safety repairs, and upgrade facilities to accommodate new technologies. The combination of discretionary and non-discretionary resources in the President?s budget is targeted to the following areas:

Accelerating Change and Increasing Accountability

President Clinton has often said that someone, somewhere in America has the solution to nearly every problem faced by our schools. We have long known the ingredients for successful schools; the challenge is to give parents and teachers and superintendents the tools to put them in place and stimulate real change right now. Smaller classes in the early grades, technology in every classroom, and money to put research into practice are just three of the proposals below that can help.

Mastering the Basics

High standards are the key to all effective education reform, and the move to high standards starts with mastering the basics. Reading, writing, and challenging mathematics are the gateways to future learning for all students. The Federal role in supporting the basics is especially critical for low-income students and students with disabilities. The 2000 budget includes the following programs focused on mastering basic skills:

Better Teaching for All Students

Improved student achievement starts with teachers in every classroom who are prepared to teach to high standards. Raising the bar for teachers will be especially difficult in view of estimated shortage of 2 million teachers over the next 10 years, but is essential if we are to meet the educational needs of growing numbers of disadvantaged and minority students. The following proposals will help:

Keeping Our Children Safe and Drug-Free

Threats of violence, the temptation of drugs and alcohol, and crumbling facilities are major obstacles to higher academic achievement in too many schools, as well as a major worry for parents and families. The proposals below will help eliminate these obstacles and give parents peace of mind.

Student Aid

The expansion of Federal postsecondary student financial aid under President Clinton means that no student is precluded from a college education for financial reasons. Larger Pell grants, expanded work-study opportunities, lower borrowing costs on student loans, and generous Hope and Lifetime Learning tax benefits make college possible for all who qualify. Paying for college is still a difficult burden, however, especially for low- and middle-income families. The 2000 request for student aid will help reduce that burden:

Reaching and Completing College

Despite the availability of significant postsecondary student financial assistance, too few disadvantaged and minority students pursue and complete a postsecondary education. Most if not all jobs in our technology-based economy require some form of college education. Continued American prosperity in the 21st century will require the skills and contributions of all our citizens. The proposals below are intended to increase college-going and college-completion rates for disadvantaged and minority students, in part by encouraging them to think about college in the early grades so that they take the appropriate courses and are prepared for success in postsecondary education.

Hispanic Initiative

Hispanic Americans are the Nation?s fastest growing minority group and one that presents a special challenge to our educational system. Barriers of language and culture have contributed to a persistently high dropout rate and discouraged many Hispanics from pursuing higher education. The 2000 request includes the following proposals targeting the educational needs of Hispanic Americans:

Direct any questions to Martha Jacobs, Budget Service

[Table of Contents] [Section A - Elementary and Secondary Education]

This page last updated February 9, 1999 (saw).