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2013 education budget set


Falisha McCauley

Staff writer

On Monday the United States Department of Education submitted a 2013 education budget to Congress.

The budget, if passed, will increase the amount of financial aid to students, and provide funding for colleges to appropriately train students and workers for career positions needed in the workforce currently. With this new budget, the Obama Administration is hoping to make college more affordable and accessible to low-income students.

The requested amount of monetary increase by the Education Department is $69.8 trillion in discretionary funding. This increase would bolster a 2.5 percent in the spending cap for education compared with 2012. The current spending on education is $4 trillion, and this budget will hopefully decrease the deficit by $1 trillion over the next ten years.

With a $1.7 billion increase to education spending the government will be able to provide students with more accessible and higher amounts of financial aid. Such as raising and sustaining the maximum reward for the Pell Grant to $5,635.

If this proposition is passed the Pell Grant will be able to assist almost 10 million students.

Also the education department proposed to freeze the interest rate on subsidized loans at 3.4 percent, which will increase to 6.8 percent this summer if Congress does not pass the budget proposal.

Another incentive of this proposal is the creation of a Community College to Career Fund which would train students for specific jobs needed by local businesses. The program would cost $8 billion; however, the benefits would consist of necessary training to fill nearly two million jobs in the nation with career focused training, and paid internships for low-income students to assist them in gaining experience and skills for their job.

To further assist this program would be the reauthorization and reform (which will be another $1.1 billion) of the Career and Technical Education program which trains and educates students for the demands of the current workforce.

Additionally the 2013 budget would give $5 billion of competitive funding to states and districts for reforms of better preparation, support, and compensation for teachers. An investment of $190 million would provide scholarships in the new Presidential Teaching Fellows program for students who pursue attendance to top rated teacher prep schools. And another $620 million in rewards would be given to support programs for effective teacher preparation, decrease shortages in STEM teachers, and enhance investments for the educational profession.