Federal Relations

Additional Glimpses Into Obama Budget Request

Despite President Obama’s plan to call for a three year freeze of domestic discretionary spending, K-12 and certain higher education student aid/support services grant programs stand to receive significant increases in the FY11 budget process -according to administration officials. As mentioned in yesterday’s (1/26) post, certain federal programs┬ámay be cut, consolidated, or eliminated to achieve the President’s increases for education while maintaining an overall freeze on federal spending.

During the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is expected to reiterate his support for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) that passed the House of Representatives last September but has been delayed in the Senate -pending passage of health care reform. SAFRA would eliminate banks from federal student loan programs, yielding roughly $80 billion in savings that would be spent to increase the mandatory funds available for Pell grants as well as to fund certain college access and completion grant programs.

At the K-12 level, President Obama is expected to propose an allocation of $1.35 billion for the Race to the Top program, which funds state education innovations and reforms. Additionally, $1 billion would be set aside to fund an overhaul of No Child Left Behind. Additional details will be provided in the State of the Union this evening, with a full blueprint available when the FY11 budget request is released on February 1st. The Office of Federal Relations will provide additional information as it becomes available.