FY 2001 Budget Summary - February 2000

I. Summary of the 2001 Budget

Under the leadership of President Clinton, the American people have made education one of their top priorities. Across the Nation, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, State legislators, and Governors are committed to raising the educational achievement of all students. Over the past seven years, the Clinton Administration has worked with Congress to support their efforts through such new programs as Goals 2000, Educational Technology, Class Size Reduction, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, GEAR UP, and Hope Scholarship tax credits. At the same time, the Federal investment in education has grown substantially: Department of Education discretionary spending rose from $23.0 billion in fiscal year 1996 to $35.6 billion in fiscal year 2000, an increase of $12.6 billion or 55 percent in just four years.

 ED DISCRETIONARY APPROPRIATIONS  1996  $23.0 billion 1997  $26.6 billion 1998  $29.9 billion 1999  $33.5 billion 2000  $35.6 billion 2001  $40.1 billion (request) 

This investment has been coupled with a growing and unprecedented emphasis on accountability in our education system. Nearly all States have put in place their own challenging academic standards for students and are now implementing assessments linked to those standards. Many States and school districts are requiring students to pass achievement tests before graduating from high school, and educators are taking a hard look at ways to end the traditional practices of social promotion and retention in grade.

Now the focus is on the changes needed to ensure that all students are able to meet the new State standards. States and school districts must align curricula, textbooks, instructional methods, and professional development with the standards. Extended learning opportunities must be provided to students who are failing or at risk of failing to meet the standards. And the need for these changes and improvements comes as school systems already are struggling with booming enrollments and obsolete facilities. Nearly a half million additional students crowded into America?s schools last fall, for a record total of some 53 million?and new records will be set annually for the next several years. The public schools enrolling these new students average 42 years of age, with an estimated one-third needing extensive repair or replacement.

President Clinton?s fiscal year 2001 budget for education would provide significant new resources to help States and communities implement new standards in their schools while coping with booming enrollments and the need to modernize academic facilities. The request also provides substantial new support to help prepare disadvantaged students for postsecondary education and make college more affordable for all Americans.

The President is requesting $40.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education in fiscal year 2001, an increase of $4.5 billion or 12.6 percent over the 2000 level.

Major increases in the 2001 request include $1.3 billion for School Renovation, $716 million to raise the Pell Grant maximum award to $3,500, $547 million for after school enrichment activities under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, $450 million to hire more teachers in the Class Size Reduction program, $416 million to bring new accountability and turn around low-performing schools in the Title I program, $333 million for Special Education programs to improve services for children with disabilities, $125 million to provide new pathways to college for disadvantaged students through the GEAR UP initiative, and $120 million for an expanded Small, Safe, and Successful High Schools program.

Total Department of Education Appropriations
(in billions of dollars)

  1999 2000 2001
Mandatory   6.2   7.5   4.6

Mandatory programs include Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants and the student loan programs. Mandatory costs fluctuate from year to year due to changes in interest rates and other factors affecting the costs of operating the student loan programs.

The Department?s 2001 request is complemented by significant non-discretionary investments in education, including the School Modernization Bonds proposal, the HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax benefits, and the e-rate subsidies for educational technology. School Modernization Bonds, for example, would support nearly $25 billion in tax credit bonds to modernize up to 6,000 schools, while the e-rate provides nearly $2 billion annually to help schools and libraries connect to the Internet. For 2001, the Administration would build on the Lifetime Learning tax credit with a new College Opportunity Tax Cut proposal that, when fully phased in, would give up to 5 million families the option of taking a tax deduction or claiming a 28 percent tax credit on up to $10,000 in postsecondary education expenses.

The combination of discretionary and non-discretionary resources in the President?s budget is targeted to the following areas:

Accelerating Change

President Clinton shares the impatience of many parents with the pace of improvement at too many schools that are failing to improve student achievement, particularly in high-poverty urban and rural areas. We know the ingredients of effective education: high standards, well-qualified teachers, smaller classes, an emphasis on early reading, extended learning time, and instructional practices based on solid research. And expanded public school choice options can help ensure that no student is trapped in a failing school. To support these strategies, the 2001 request includes:

Improving Teacher Quality

Better-prepared teachers are the key to bringing the new State standards into the classroom. The Nation as a whole faces a shortage of an estimated 2 million teachers over the next 10 years, and high-poverty urban and rural districts already face great difficulty in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers. The 2001 budget would provide a total of $1 billion specifically targeted to improving teaching, including:

Modernizing Our Schools

With the General Accounting Office estimating the total repair bill for the Nation?s aging schools at more than $100 billion, millions of our children are attending schools that are literally falling apart. Growing enrollments also create a need to build new schools, not just to renovate old ones. And the increasing role of technology in education requires upgraded electrical systems and extensive wiring at thousands of schools. To help meet these needs, the 2001 budget includes:

Closing Achievement Gaps

Mastering the basics in the early years is the key to ensuring educational success and achievement later in life. Extra help is particularly important for students with special needs, such as economically disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, and limited English proficient students. The budget request includes significant resources to help States and school districts meet the needs of these students.

Reaching and Completing College

Despite the availability of record amounts of grant, loan, and work-study funding to help pay for postsecondary education, too many disadvantaged students do not believe that college is a real option. Many other students are not adequately prepared for the rigors of a college education and drop out after encountering difficulties. The 2001 budget includes significant funding for programs aimed at increasing college-going and completion rates among such students.

Making College Affordable

Postsecondary education is essential for success and career advancement in today?s information-intensive, technology-based economy. Yet college costs continue to rise faster than inflation, and many families struggle to pay postsecondary education expenses. The 2001 request would expand Federal support for paying college costs.

Hispanic Education Action Plan

Latinos are the Nation?s fastest-growing minority population, and one whose educational achievement continues to require special attention. For the past two years, the Administration?s Hispanic Education Action Plan has targeted additional resources to improving educational outcomes, lowering dropout rates, increasing college enrollment and retention, and enhancing the lifelong learning potential of Latino students. The Department?s 2001 request continues this policy by providing more than $800 million in increases for the following programs.

Direct any questions to Martha Jacobs, Budget Service


[Table of Contents]

[Section A - Elementary and Secondary Education]