Inside View on the 2012 Budget

President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget comes at important crossroads in both education reform as well as fiscal reform. The $3.7 trillion budget request would reduce the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, two-thirds of which would come from spending cuts through a five-year freeze in discretionary spending. Certain areas would see an increase, including expanding access to broadband, medical research, and education.

In fact, under the president's proposal, the U.S. Department of Education would receive the largest increase (in both percentage and absolute terms) in discretionary funding from fiscal year 2010 and 2011 levels compared to any other non-security domestic agency. The President's budget would increase education funding to $77.4 billion, a 10.7% increase from current spending and a 21% increase from 2010 spending levels. Most of the spending goes to Pell Grants (federal grants to college students from low income families), Title I, and special education. The Administration also requested funds for additional rounds of Race to the Top and I3.

Meanwhile, Congress has yet to pass a fiscal year 2011 budget. Instead, Congress has passed temporary continuing resolutions which fund federal programs at their 2010 levels. However, the House and Senate remain in gridlock over the size of cuts and to what programs which has led to some fears of a government shutdown should an agreement not be reached by March 4.

The resulting debate, along 45 states projecting budget shortfalls totaling $125 billion, have created enormous uncertainty for schools. Education reformers are concerned that state and federal budget cuts may slow momentum for key reforms involving teacher effectivess and transitioning to the Common Core. Others see the tightening fiscal environment creating opportunity for cost-effective innovations such as online learning.

We asked Insiders for their thoughts on the budget proposal, including:

  • The Administration's proposals to consolidate 38 existing ESEA programs into 11 new authorities be enacted by Congress?
  • Which programs do Insiders believe should be eliminated?
  • Will Congress providing funding for additional rounds of I3 and Race to the Top?
  • What do Insiders think about the proposal for an ARPA-ED?
  • and more...

Special guests for this webinar include:

David DeSchryver serves at the VP of Education Policy for Whiteboard Advisors. He is an education attorney who has worked in education technology, policy and law for over 14 years. He works with both public and private sector clients, providing them counsel on federal programs, regulations, budgets, legislation, administrative actions and how this all shapes the challenges of education entrepreneurship.

David has served as the policy director for The Center for Education Reform, he worked with state and federal legislators to develop a wide variety of school improvement legislation. As a managing editor and academic services manager at SchoolNet he wrote articles on school transformation and technology reflecting his experience in implementing comprehensive instructional management systems in urban schools and districts. As an NCLB program manager for the DC Public Charter School Board, he worked with schools to facilitate their compliance with NCLB and develop their school improvement processes. Finally, as an attorney at a national education law firm, he provided counsel to state and local educational agencies on a wide variety of federal education law, policy and funding matters.

Kim Anderson is Director of Government Relations at the National Education Association, the department responsible for advocating at the federal level and within intergovernmental organizations on behalf of the 3.2 million members of the NEA. Prior to her tenure as Director, Ms. Anderson served the NEA in two other capacities as well. She was the Manager for Issue Advocacy in the Campaigns and Elections Department where she oversaw the NEA‰'s independent expenditure projects, issue advocacy work, and helped represent NEA in numerous national coalitions and partnerships. Ms. Anderson also served as a lobbyist in NEA‰'s Government Relations Department for seven years, where she handled issues relating to testing & accountability, No Child Left Behind implementation, special education, education technology, education research, and intellectual property rights.

Prior to her work with the NEA, Kim served as Deputy Legislative Director and Counsel to Senator Charles Robb of Virginia, overseeing the legislative program and staff, as well as serving as Sen. Robb‰'s chief counsel during the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton. Prior to her work in the Senate, Kim was an associate at the law firm of Covington and Burling in Washington, DC where she practiced food and drug law.

Ms. Anderson received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and received her law degree from George Washington University where she was a member of the George Washington University Law Review, the Moot Court Board, and President of the Student Bar Association. She currently serves as the Treasurer of America Votes Education and Action Fund as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Progress Now.