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Duncan Defends Budget to Appropriators


March 25, 2012

By: Mitch

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan went before the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee on March 22 to defend the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget request for the Department of Education and its programs. In his written statement, Sec. Duncan referenced the Administration’s request for $8 billion over three year for new community college initiative as well as the $1 billion over three years for a competitive grant program to expand career academies. “Career Academies have been shown to reduce high school dropout rates and prepare students for careers that lead to high earning,” said Duncan.

He also noted the $1.1 billion request for Perkins and the Administration’s forthcoming proposal for reauthorization. He stated that the Perkins reauthorization plan would, “transform CTE by increasing the focus on outcomes and career pathways that ensure that what students learn in school is more closely aligned with the demands of the 21st century economy, while creating stronger linkages between secondary and postsecondary education.”

Both Republicans and Democrats on the subcommittee sharply criticized Sec. Duncan and the budget proposal  for emphasizing competitive grants and new programs over existing, formula-funded programs. Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) questioned Duncan about why many formula-funded education grant programs were level funded in the budget request while new and untested programs received an increase. Duncan argued that competitive grants are necessary to promote reform.  “Formula funds alone cannot drive the transformational reforms our system needs,” said Duncan.

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