Details are still emerging about the Obama Administration’s 2014 education budget proposal, but from the overview there seems to be a lot of bad stuff. Here are the hi — or low — lights, and links to some important context:
- Increase Department of Education spending to $71.2 billion, up 4.6 percent from 2012 enacted level: This is neither constitutional nor effective.
- “Invests” in preschool: Head Start, Early Head Start, and state programs either are shown to fail, or have little to no good evidence supporting them.
- $12.5 billion in mandatory funds to “prevent additional teacher layoffs and hire teachers”: We’ve been getting fat on staff — including teachers — for decades, and it hasn’t helped.
- $1.3 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Federal studies have found these have negative effects.
- Race to the Top for higher education: So far, RTTT has been big on promises, small on outcomes, and huge on coercion to adopt national curriculum standards.
- $260 million to scale up higher education innovation: MOOCS and other innovations have been developing pretty well without federal “help.”
- Maintain “strong” Pell Grant program: Pell is part of the tuition hyperinflation problem, not the solution.
There will no doubt be more‐detailed analyses of specific education proposals to come. Stay tuned!