Click here for the full PDF version of the issue brief.
President Barack Obama submitted his third budget request to Congress on February 14th, 2011. The budget request includes proposed funding levels for all federal programs and agencies in aggregate for the upcoming 10 fiscal years, and specific fiscal year 2012 funding levels for programs subject to the annual appropriations process.
It is important to remember that the president's budget request is a policy and budget proposal, but not legislation or law. Actual fiscal year 2012 funding levels for nearly all federal education programs will be determined through the Congressional appropriations process that Congress aims to complete by the start of the new fiscal year, which begins October 1st, 2011. Policy changes and funding levels that the president proposes for education programs not funded through appropriations process (i.e. mandatory programs) are also subject to Congressional approval.
A review of the president’s proposal for fiscal year 2012 is complicated by the fact that Congress has not yet completed the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process. Thus, no year-over-year funding comparisons can be made. Fiscal year 2011 began on October 1st, 2010 and federal programs subject to appropriations funding have been temporarily funded at the prior year’s levels through March 4th, 2011.
In an effort to heighten the quality of debate on federal education policy, the New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project has reviewed the president's proposals and generated a list of key questions policymakers, the media, stakeholder groups, and the public should ask about the proposals.
To read the full report, click here.