2013 Education Budget: What it Means For You

Continuing its commitment to education and an America built to last, the Obama Administration released its 2013 budget proposal to Congress today. It includes new education investments that will give U.S. students and workers the education and training they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Budget ImageThe Department of Education is requesting $69.8 billion in discretionary funding for Fiscal Year 2013, an increase of $1.7 billion, or 2.5 percent, from 2012. The critical investments in education are part of an overall federal budget that abides by very tight spending caps that reduce discretionary spending by $1 trillion over 10 years and, including that amount, has more than $4 trillion of balanced deficit reduction.

But what, exactly, does this mean for you?

Job Training to Meet the Demands of the Workforce
Helping students, employers and communities.

Two million jobs are waiting to be filled in the United States, yet many Americans seeking work don’t have the necessary skills to fill those jobs. To close that skills gap and deliver employers the kinds of workers they want to hire, the Administration is proposing $8 billion for a new Community College to Career Fund.

These funds would help community colleges become community career centers where individuals can learn the skills that local businesses need. Additionally, employers would offer paid internships for low-income students to help them learn skills on the job and gain experience.

ED is also proposing to invest $1.1 billion to support the reauthorization and reform of the Career and Technical Education program to ensure that the training and education our students receive are in line with the demands of the workforce.

Boosting the Teaching Profession
Giving teachers the respect and support they deserve.

ED is proposing $5 billion in competitive funding to support states and districts as they pursue bold reforms that can help better prepare, support and compensate America’s teachers.

The Department would also invest $190 million for a new Presidential Teaching Fellows program that would provide scholarships to talented students who attend top-tier teacher prep programs and commit to working in high-need schools.

The budget also creates $620 million in new grants for states that would reward and support highly effective teacher preparation programs, help decrease STEM teacher shortages, and invest in efforts to enhance the teaching profession.

Making College Affordable
Ensuring that everyone gets a shot at higher education.

The 2013 budget seeks to make college more affordable and to help achieve President Obama’s goal of the U.S. leading the world in college graduates by 2020.  The budget proposes to sustain the maximum Pell Grant and increase the maximum award amount to $5,635, supporting nearly 10 million students across the country.

The Department is proposing to freeze the interest rate on subsidized student loans at 3.4 percent. Currently the rate is scheduled to double to 6.8 percent this summer if Congress doesn’t act.

The budget seeks to tackle college costs and quality by encouraging shared responsibility among states, colleges, families and the federal government. ED would invest $1 billion for a new Race to the Top focusing on college affordability and completion to drive reform at the state level and help students finish faster. This new Race to the Top would provide incentives for colleges to keep costs under control, it would double the number of work-study jobs, and it would increase by nearly $7.5 billion the amount available for Perkins loans.

Additional Budget Information:


  1. Companies turn to contractors and consultants to fix their problems by re-engineering bad designs, eliminating defects, making systems compatible, generating missing documentation, explaining how designs work and shipping overly intricate products.

    Yet, when universities and companies train young people to innovate and function in modern academic settings and workforces, they almost never turn to the very best people for advice.

    Instead, they hire PHd’s, Master’s Degree recipients, and Certified Instructors who have very little expertise in laboratories or factories. They choose to hire those with high test scores on Praxis or who enjoy Lead the Way instead of empowering people who have actually led the way in our nation’s R&D facilities throughout their lives.

    Teaching AP Calculus, AP Physics or circuit simulation without ever having built a single radio, a satellite, a spacecraft system or an advanced instrument is a short circuit approach to promotion and career advancement in education.

    University-driven workshop training and empowerment displaces real talent from the classroom and should really be a last resort method for teacher placement, not a “best practice.”

  2. The way to make college affordable is to require colleges and universities to control their costs and assume more risk for excessive spending. The student loan fiasco is no different than the mortgage fiasco where those with their hands in the pie have eliminated risk to themselves yet managed to keep the reward. There is a strong correlation between the ever increasing amounts students borrow and the spending by colleges and universities. Personnel at colleges and universities need to be forced to tie every dollar of increased spending to a better educational outcome for their graduates.

    Colleges and universities should assume a portion of the risk of default for student loans that are not repaid, and student loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Implementing these reforms would make colleges and universities better control their spending on over-the-top recreational buildings, fancy architecture, administrators, faculty that spend little time teaching, etc. Currently, there is little real attempt by colleges and universities to cut costs–serious cost cutting needs to occur now as students are drowning in student loan debt.

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