FY 2010 Department of Education Request

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Publication date: 
8 May 2009

President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget recommends $46.7 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Education, a $1.3 billion increase over FY 2009.

Elementary and secondary education programs would receive $38.3 billion for FY 2010 an increase of $700 million over FY 2009. Postsecondary education programs would be increased from $3.4 billion in FY 2009 to $3.6 billion in FY 2010.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the budget proposal “an investment in reforms that work.”

The President’s budget request will zero out 12 programs at the Department of Education for $550 million in savings. Some of the more notable program eliminations include Even Start ($66.5 million), the College Access Challenge Grant Program ($66 million), Student Mentoring program ($48.5 million), and Ready to Teach ($10.7 million). All of these programs will either be replaced by new, more expansive initiatives, or are considered redundant.

The FY 2010 budget would also eliminate a full-time position as the department’s attaché to the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that cost over $600,000 annually, including $77,000 for a Paris apartment. In a conference call with the press, Duncan joked, “I actually applied for the position and I didn’t get it.” Later, Duncan exclaimed that the elimination of this position was a move against “political hack jobs.”

Below are select programs from the budget proposal. It is important to note that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which provided $98.2 billion for the Department of Education, must be taken into account when comparing FY 2009 funding levels with FY 2010 requests. The bracketed values listed below include monies committed under ARRA. ED’s budget request, with explanations of the below programs can be found here.


Education for the Disadvantaged

School improvement grants:
Up 156 percent or $944 million from $606 million to $1.55 billion [$4.546 billion].

Title I early childhood grants:
A new program, $500 million.

Early learning challenge fund:
A new program, $300 million.

Reading first State grants:
No funding requested, down from $16 million.

School Improvement Programs
Mathematics and science partnerships (MSP):
Down 1.1 percent, or $2 million from $181 million to $179 million.

Educational technology State grants:
Down 63.8 percent, or $176 million from $276 million [$650 million] to $100 million.

21st century community learning centers:
Down .96 percent, or $11 million from $1.142 billion to $1.131 billion.

State assessments:
Down 2.14 percent, or $9 million from $420 million to $411 million.


Innovation and Improvement
Teacher incentive fund:
Up 433 percent, or $420 million from $97 million to $517 million [$200 million].

Charter school grants:
Up 25 percent, or $52 million from $208 million to $260 million.

Magnet schools assistance:
Stable funding at $105 million.

Teach for America:
A new program, $15 million.

Teacher quality partnership:
A new program, $50 million.


Higher Education
Minority science and engineering improvement:
Stable funding at $9 million.

Developing Hispanic-serving institution STEM and articulation programs:
No funding requested, down from $100 million.

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education:
Down 64.9 percent, or $87 million from $134 million to $47 million.

Graduate assistance in areas of national need:
Stable funding at $31 million.

Teachers for a competitive tomorrow:
Stable funding at $2.2 million.

Teacher quality partnership:
No funding requested, down from $50 million.


The Obama Administration recently announced a shift in policy that would reclassify Pell Grants from discretionary to mandatory spending. As the Budget Proposal’s Appendix notes, the following section on Pell Grants is “contingent upon the enactment of legislation… that will make the Federal Pell Grant Program an entitlement for eligible students, will set the maximum Federal Pell Grant for award year 2010-2011 to $5,550 and… will increase the maximum award amount annually by the consumer Price Index plus one percentage point….”

Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants:
$24.356 billion

Academic Competitiveness/SMART Grant Program
Up 23.6 percent, or $175 million from $740 million to $915 million.

Teach Grant Financing Account
TEACH Grants:
Up 59.5 million, or $15 million from $42 million to $67 million.

The Administration also proposes “to shift the Perkins Loan program to a mandatory direct loan program beginning July 1, 2010….”

Federal Perkins Loan Program Account
Federal Perkins Loans:
$3.476 billion


Institute of Education Sciences

Research, development, and dissemination:
Up 34.13 million, or $57 million from $167 million to $224 million.

Up 9 percent, or $9 million from $99 million to $108 million.

Regional educational laboratories:
Up 4.4 percent, or $3 million from $68 million to $71 million.

Stable funding at $139 million.

Statewide data systems:
Down 1.5 percent, or $1 million from $66 million [$250 million] to$65 million.