THE REPUBLICAN TAX AND BUDGET PLAN
COULD DEVASTATE FUNDING FOR EDUCATION
AND OTHER KEY PRIORITIES
September 7, 1999
The GOP Tax and Budget Plan Would Force Drastic Cuts in Priorities Like Education, Health, Safety and the Environment. The Republican tax bill, and the associated interest costs, would spend the entire $1 trillion non-Social Security surplus over the next 10 years. This, together with funding defense at the level requested by the President, would leave the Republicans with an impossible choice: either make nearly 50 percent cuts in essential government functions, everything from education to air traffic control to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or divert hundreds of billions of dollars of the Social Security surpluses from promised debt reduction.
The Republican Tax and Budget Plan Could Devastate Funding for Key Education
Programs for Everything from Head Start to Lifelong Learning and Dramatically
Cut Programs in Each State. In the tenth year of the Republican tax and
budget plan, the nation could be forced to:
· Deny 5.9 million children in high-poverty communities academic support under the Title I program. Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act currently provides much-needed academic support to 12 million children in high-poverty communities, and the President has proposed important reforms to make sure they master the basics and reach high standards. The Republican plan goes in the opposite direction and could reduce the number of children served by this program to pre-1992 levels.
· Deny 520,000 children the assistance they need to learn to read. The Reading Excellence program currently provides funding that will help one million children learn to read independently and well by the end of the 3rd grade. Under the Republican budget and tax plans, 480,000 fewer children could get the help they need to learn to read.
· Deny smaller classes to more than a million young children in the early grades. The Republican plans could deprive more than one million students of the opportunity to learn in smaller classes in the early grades. Last year, a bipartisan agreement was reached to make a down payment on the President's plan to hire 100,000 teachers to reduce class size in the early grades to a nationwide average of 18, and earlier this month the U.S. Education Department awarded funds to help local school districts hire 30,000 teachers before school starts this fall. While the President wants to finish the job and hire 100,000 teachers, the Republican tax and budget plans could force cuts from current levels by nearly half. In July, a narrow majority in the House even voted for a bill the President has pledged to veto, which would remove the guarantee that any class size reductions will be achieved at all.
· Deny early childhood and preschool services to 430,000 kids. Head Start currently provides early childhood and preschool services to 835,000 students. The Republican plan could deny 430,000 children access to this essential support.
· Deny 215,000 students the after-school and summer school programs they need. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program currently provides funding to help provide after-school and summer school programs to about 400,000 students in safe and enriching academic environments. While the President wants to nearly quadruple this number to 1.5 million, the Republican budget and tax plans would reduce it by 215,000 students.
· Slash funding for children with disabilities. Special Education could be cut by $3.4 billion by the tenth year of the tax cut, severely limiting the federal contribution to programs that help children with disabilities.
· Deny local school districts vital support to build and modernize 5400 public schools across the nation. The President's targeted tax cut would cover the interest on state and local efforts to build and modernize 6,000 public schools across the nation. The Republican tax cut provides marginal help to address the needs of only one-tenth that many schools. The President's proposal to rebuild our public schools could be fully funded using about 1% of the Republican tax cut approved by the House.
· Cut violence and drug prevention programs. By the tenth year of the Republican tax cut, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities funding would be reduced by nearly $334 million. This is less than half of the $696 million that would be invested in violence and drug-prevention under current spending patterns. Republican plans could also slash funding for crisis counseling and increased security in schools experiencing violent incidents, such as the recent tragic shootings in Littleton, Colorado and Conyers, Georgia.
· Make college less affordable for nearly 4 million low and middle-income students by slashing Pell Grants. The Pell Grant program, which benefits nearly 4 million students, would have its maximum grant level slashed to $2175, the lowest level since 1987. This would be a sharp cut from the $3850 which would otherwise be reached by FY2009 under current spending patterns, and it would deny low-and middle-income students critical financial aid to make college more affordable.
· Deny over 500,000 students the opportunity to work their way through college. The Work-Study program currently helps approximately 930,000 low and middle-income students work their way through college. Over 500,000 students could be denied access to this program under Republican tax and budget plans.
· Deny over 500,000 disadvantaged students the extra guidance and support they need to prepare for college. Under the Republican plan, over 500,000 young people would not get the extra support they need to prepare for college through the GEAR-UP and TRIO programs. GEAR-UP is a nationwide initiative to help about 227,000 low-income middle and high school students receive academic and support services to prepare for college. About 118,000 fewer students could receive these service under the Republican plans. The President has proposed doubling funding for this program. TRIO provides counseling and educational support for 725,000 students nationwide, but the Republican plans could deny 400,000 students access to this crucial support.
· Deny hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people the summer jobs and job training they need to succeed. Under the Republican plan, about 330,000 fewer disadvantaged students would get the education, training, and summer jobs they need. Sixty-two out of 118 Job Corps centers could be forced to close, taking away job training from 21,000 disadvantaged youth, and more than 26,000 thousand students in high-poverty communities would be denied access to education, training, and employment assistance through Youth Opportunity Grants.
For Each State the Republican Tax Proposal Would Cut Key Programs by Roughly Half. See attached table. The 2009 funding levels and per student costs maintains participation at the 1999 level for 2009 adjusting for inflation. The Republican budget and tax proposal result in a roughly 50% cut from those levels. Head Start figures reflect current services although the President has a goal of funding 1 million children on Head Start by 2002. For Class Size Reduction, 2009 funding is based on the level of funding required to implement the President's plan to hire 100,000 teachers by 2005. The Republican 2009 funding level reflects the 1999 level increased to offset inflation, then reduced by roughly 50% consistent with their budget and tax proposals.
State By State Comparisons Include These Key Programs:
· Work Study: The Work Study Program provides part-time jobs
to undergraduate and graduate students to help them pay education expenses.
· Class Size Reduction: The Presidents Class Size Reduction initiative provides funding to help meet the goal of hiring 100,000 teachers to reduce class size in the early grades, to a national average of 18 students.
· Head Start: Head Start provides early childhood and preschool assistance to impoverished children.
· Title I Grants: Title I targets financial assistance to high poverty school districts.
· Assistance to Disadvantaged Youth: The Workforce Investment Act, includes a funding stream for programs providing summer jobs and job training assistance to economically disadvantage young people.
· Pell Grants: The Pell Grant Program provides grants to undergraduate students with financial need to help them pay for postsecondary education.