K-12 Education The Budget request for elementary and secondary education reflects the restoration of local control in education provided by the Congress in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA reauthorized the ESEA for the first time in 14 years and recognized that the primary responsibility for creating, improving, and sustaining education systems lies with States and local school districts. The Budget builds on these principles by ensuring the Department focuses on returning decision-making power back to States and districts and by giving parents more control over addressing their child’s unique education needs.
Empowers Families to Choose the Schools that are Best for Their Children. The Budget invests $1.1 billion in school choice programs to expand the range of high-quality public and private school options for students, putting more decision-making power in the hands of parents and families. This investment serves as a down payment toward achieving the President’s goal of an annual Federal investment of $20 billion—for a total of an estimated $100 billion when including matching State and local funds—in school choice funding. The Budget requests $500 million to establish a new school choice grant program to support a wide range of innovative approaches to school choice. These include expanding existing private school choice programs to serve more low-income and at-risk students, developing new private school choice models, or supporting school districts’ efforts to adopt student-based budgeting and open enrollment policies that enable Federal, State and local funding to follow the student to the public school of his or her choice. In addition, States and districts would have opportunities to leverage funding from Title I grants to support public school choice. The Budget requests $500 million to fund the opening, expansion, and replication of high-quality public charter schools and the financing of charter school facilities. The Budget invests $98 million to expand the number of public magnet schools, which offer specialized curricula and instructional programming. In addition, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act expands school choice by enabling families to use 529 savings plans to pay for private school tuition and home schooling costs.