A Closer Look at the President’s Proposed K-12 Education Program Consolidations
Artie’s Note: While I’m sure many of you are getting tired of hearing the latest PEP Grant rumors and speculations, I need to alert the physical education community of the dire need for us to be proactive and watching with both eyes open. Here’s the latest news from “Ed Money Watch” a blog from New America’s Federal Education Budget Project.
PS: I am not well-versed in the position of the New America Foundation or how they are funded.
Background: In his fiscal year 2011 budget request released on Monday, President Obama proposed some major changes to programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The proposal would take 38 existing K-12 programs, many with very narrow focuses, and combine them into nine new programs. The new programs would direct more funding to states and local education agencies (LEAs) through competitive grants than the current structure, which operates mostly through formula grants.
The Obama Administration believes this will give school districts greater flexibility in how they use the funds and make them more accountable for student achievement. But moving to competitive grants adds uncertainty and may create a number of unintended consequences.
The 38 existing programs would be consolidated into nine different programs under five headings: Excellent Instructional Teams, Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education, Expanding Educational Options, College Pathways and Accelerated Learning, and Supporting Student Success. Each of these reflects the priorities of the Obama Administration for education.
The president’s 2011 budget request includes $5.9 billion for the new programs, while the combined 2010 funding for the programs slated for consolidation is $5.3 billion, a difference of $568 million. A table of the funding levels for the existing programs to be consolidated and the proposed programs that would replace them can be downloaded here.
When you click on the download link, you get a “Program Consolidation Table.” I have selected just the items in the “Supporting Student Success” category. As we are aware, there appears to be a net gain of $45 million as seen in the chart below. However, there is no guarantee that the $79 million currently being used to fund PEP will automatically be used to fund K-12 physical education initiatives in your state or at the local school district level. As you can see, there are six separate and distinct programs that will be lobbying for the $410 million pool of funds.