Trickle-Down Cuts to Education

Policy Brief

October 30, 2017

Washington, D.C. — With the stage set for tax reform following passage of the Congressional Republican budget, the Center for American Progress and Education Reform Now have prepared a joint issue brief outlining the cumulative damage proposed spending cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy portend for students, families, and schools nationwide.

Analyzed and discussed are:

  1. Direct cuts to education programs: The Trump administration and House appropriations bill propose deep cuts to K-12 and higher education programs. Threats include the elimination of afterschool programs, less high quality teacher professional development, and a raid on the Pell Grant college aid program.
  2. Cuts to health and social services:  The Trump administration’s proposed budget coupled with the House’s ongoing efforts to slash Medicaid, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and cut key social services programs endanger students’ ability to come to school ready and able to learn. If enacted, proposed cuts would lead to unmet health needs and nutritional deficiencies as well as unstable housing situations. Moreover, the social safety cuts are apt to force states to cut state education funding in order to backfill funding for Medicaid and other social services.
  3. Tax cuts for the richest Americans will pave the way for even deeper education cuts in the future: Congressional Republican leaders’ current tax reform proposal would cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations and grow the national debt by $1.5 trillion. If the past is prologue, expected in turn is that later Congressional Republicans will propose disproportionate cuts to nondefense discretionary (NDD) spending to lessen strain on the public fisc.  Past proponents have called the strategy one of “starving the beast.”

Click here to read “Trickle-Down Cuts to Education,” by Lisette Partelow, Meg Benner, Michael Dannenberg, and Charles Barone.

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