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Obama’s fiscal budget for 2017 includes expanding educational opportunities

The Obama Administration released the fiscal year budget for 2017 on Wednesday Feb. 10.

Important investments toward affordable college, supporting teachers and the advancement of educational equity were introduced.

“The president’s budget reflects the administration’s broader efforts to expand opportunity and ensure every child can achieve his or her full potential,” said John B. King Jr., the acting education secretary, in a press release. “We have made tremendous progress with record high school graduation rates and more students and more students of color going to college, but we have further to go to ensure that educational excellence is a reality for all students.”

The budget includes $69.4 billion set aside for discretionary funding, an amount that is two percent higher than the 2016 appropriation. $129.7 billion in new mandatory funding is also included for use over the next decade. This budget also supports the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which embodies several of the reforms that Obama’s administration has continuously supported.

A few core investments of the budget include $15.4 billion reserved for Title I grants to school districts, $120 million set aside for a newly developed Stronger Together Grants program, $4 billion for funding a new program dedicated to expand student’s access to computer science as well as $138 million allocated for a stronger enforcement of civil rights laws.

Educators and other school employees will be benefiting from this budget as well. $125 million will be set aside for the proposed “Teacher and Principal Pathways” program for grants to institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations to develop and expand easier links into the teaching profession. $10 million is also allocated for Teach to Lead grants.

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