Preliminary Trump Education Budget Threatens Millennials’ Ability to Obtain Higher Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 17, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

Today, the Washington Post reported on a preliminary version of the Trump Administration’s education budget, expected to be finalized and released next week. The budget slashes $9.2B from the Department of Education, allocating 13.6 percent less than the budget Congress approved just last month. This cut includes programs that serve millions of students by allowing them to access and complete higher education.

Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Director of Government Affairs released the below statement on the reported budget cuts:

“This proposal would place more obstacles in front of students by cutting federal financial aid, on-campus supports, and reducing opportunities to gain skills, thereby making completing a credential that much harder. The President has claimed he wants to “take steps to help students” address their student debt, but this budget would do the exact opposite.”

Pell Grants –

The reported budget would leave the maximum Pell Grant amount frozen and stagnant, further eroding its purchasing power for the nearly 8 million low- and moderate-income students that rely on it. The original Trump Administration “skinny budget” also included 3.9 billion in cuts to Pell, which further reporting indicates is still included in the full budget. While the budget contains positive language about Year-Round Pell, that program was reinstated by the recent budget deal and does not need new funding to operate. However, cutting money from Pell imperils the stability of the program and will make it harder to maintain Year-Round Pell, a bipartisan achievement.

CCAMPIS –

The reported budget zeroes out the $15 million CCAMPIS program, which helps low-income parents in college afford on-campus childcare. One in four students are parents, and they take on more debt and have to juggle more responsibility than other students. Young parents should be able to pursue their degree without worrying about the safety and health of their children. Eliminating funding for this program fails to support parents who are working to make a better life for their families.

Career and Technical Education –

The reported budget cuts career and technical education (CTE) by $168 million, down 15 percent compared to current funding. CTE is vital for both students and employers because it teaches young people valuable, in-demand skills that employers need and provides hands-on training. President Trump claims his priority is strengthening our economy, but cutting CTE weakens our current and future workforce by cutting off access to marketable skills. This proposal comes as House Democrats and Republicans are working together on improving access to CTE.

Federal Work Study –

The reported budget nearly halves the amount of funding for the Federal Work Study program, cutting $490 million. Work study helps students pay for the cost of tuition and attendance and gain valuable work experience while enrolled. The vast majority of employers today expect real-world experience from college graduates when they evaluate potential hires, and simply cutting this program walks away from a golden opportunity to discuss how it can work better for low-income students and provide more diverse employment opportunities for those enrolled.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness -

The reported budget would end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which at least over 550,000 borrowers are signed up for and reliant upon for loan relief, with millions more eligible. Teachers, counselors, social workers, public defenders, medical professionals and other public servants are filling essential jobs in communities nationwide. Eliminating the program could have damaging effects to both rural and urban communities alike, and increase the indebtedness of our generation, to the detriment of the American economy.

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