Tell Us How The Budget Affects You

“Budgets aren’t just about numbers, they reflect our values.”
– Secretary Arne Duncan

Earlier this week, President Obama sent his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget proposal to Congress. We know that you’re busy, and you may not have had the chance to dig through the details of the budget. For us, the big takeaway is that the budget request demonstrates the Obama Administration’s commitment to education as a means to strengthen America’s middle class, help hard-working families, and ensure that every child has the opportunity to fulfill his or her greatest potential.

Why Budgets Matter

This week’s budget announcement is a big deal for teachers, parents, and students. In fact, if you’re like the President and our team at the Department of Education, you probably believe that education is at the core of a successful and economically competitive America.

Find out what the President’s budget means for education.

Tell Us Your Story

In the coming weeks, Secretary Duncan will testify before Congress on the President’s budget proposal, but before he goes, he wants to hear from you. In the form below, tell us what the budget means for you, so he can share that message when he testifies before Congress.

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How do budgets affect you:

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Note: Stories submitted through this web form along with your first name may be featured on and may be posted on ED's social media channels.

We know that at schools around the country, dollars are stretched thin, and that every penny in education makes a difference. That’s why budgets are important. They reflect our belief that education is at the core of what makes our country great.



  1. As I understand it, it appears that the education budget request for fiscal year 2016 will be given mostly to the public school system and Head Start. If that is the case hundreds of thousands of small business private preschools will go out of business as they cannot compete against agencies that offer free services. Multiple that by the thousands of teachers and administrators that will also be let go. What is a small business to do?

    In Obama’s spirit of supporting the middle class, I would request that funding be opened up for private schools that can provide the same, if not better, level of service as public schools.

    The benefit is that we are agile, adaptive, and directly responsible for the outcome of the child. There is no bureaucracy for us to hide behind. We work long hours to ensure our teachers have the latest resources the most current training. We visit our parents home, not because it is a requirement for certification, but because we see our parents daily and are genuinely concerned about the child and his or her family. As business owners we understand the value of money and will not frivolously waste tax payers money.

    We have tried to partner with our local school district but they do not want anything to do with us as that means less jobs for them if their children come to our school then transition to the public school.

  2. I am a parent of three special needs students. I am a member of UTSC , CTA California Teachers Association and NEA National Education Association. I am a Indo- Hispana educator. I am a graduate of Whittier College 1979 and 1986. I am the Co founder of Padres Unidos California an online advocacy for educational equity via social media as Facebook and Twitter. I have spent my entire adult life advocating for Educational Excellence, Equity and Opportunity yet in Santa Clara County ( Silicon Valley California) there exists the greatest academic and wealth disparity in the sate of California perhaps the nation!
    I work at a wonderful Bilingual Title I School in Alviso California. The poverty index is a dramatic difference from other schools in our same district that have an affluent educated parent support system. This disparity gap is a prime example of a two tier caste system of have and have not services, technology and inequity.
    We have an amazing dedicated industrious parent and community and teacher alliance yet our children have so many poverty challenges to cope with that impede learning. Our classrooms are have many English learners and immigrant family children who are living at the poverty level. Our teachers share a computer lab on a rotation basis of one visit a week for about one hour. Conversely at a nearby school across from the 49er Football Levi Stadium another Title 1 School is the benefactor of classroom tablets and state of the art technology STEM labs. This is wonderful for this Title 1 School and community but not equitable for other Title 1 Schools within the same district.Our students may attend one field trip a year whereas other elementary schools with in the same school district attend as many as 5 or more classroom field trips a year. We teacher have many combination grade level classrooms at a ratio of 1:30 K- 3 yet across town their K-3 ration is 1:20 !

    Please invest in more Title I funding to bridge the zip code caste system. We need to invest more money in the Office of Civil Rights Agencies that monitor Education and Equity Rights under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

    When a district is found out of compliance do not penalize the children by removing federal funds ( federal sanctions) but rather penalize or prosecute the elected school boards and local compliance officers for disregarding the federal laws.

    When I asked various elected local and state officials and government agencies” Who monitors the school finances and disparity of services of school districts ?” I was informed that in California the locally elected school boards control the Funding. Parents are intended to have input into these needs and budgets. Yet no one monitors or holds these local officials accountable to obey the federal laws that make it illegal to have segregated and unequal public school sites! It is as if the Civil Rights victories and Federal mandates of the 1960’s were discarded or forgotten in Silicon Valley.
    We have defacto segregation magnet choice schools that are located in affluent areas. These schools have almost no children of Latino descent in a district of 33% Latinos! They have almost no special needs students and very few English learners. They are populated by students of the highest earning, most educated parents.

    Separate and unequal has already been determined to be unequal and illegal yet these inequities exist. We need to level up the opportunities for all. We must stop the separate and unequal deliberate segregation of “Parent Choice – Magnet Schools ” designed as elitist programs for children from affluent families.
    If and when parents file Uniform Complaints the district should conduct a neutral investigation to resolve compliance issues on a voluntary basis. I filed an Office of Civil Rights Violation yet no one at the Federal or local level will monitor the Resolution agreements. We need Federal Agencies to monitor Federal Compliance laws. Local Grand Jury is a powerless entity to enforce Federal violations.

    Historically we cherish the story of Ruby Bridges. We honor her families sacrifice and suffering to have equal opportunity for Ruby. At that time US Federal Marshals enforced her safety and educational equity! This was a historical bold action . Today we parents are left with few options to correct inequities. Are we forced to file class action lawsuits as parents did in the famous case Mendez vs. Westminister?
    Otherwise shall we can organize as voters to replace corrupt school officials?
    In the interim Charter school lotteries hold a glimpse of HOPE for the less fortunate students in a post Civil Rights era in the heart of Silicon Valley. Hold school officials to personal sanctions or prosecution if they with deliberate knowledge provide unequal educational services and opportunity to poor children residing in the same district.

    Basic Aid districts such as Santa Clara Unified earn more tax dollars that ADA districts. The majority of this funding comes from toxic waste industry and tech industry revenue on the poor side of town ( Alviso California). However the $$$ these toxic industry ventures generate are not directed to the poorest schools where these landfills and diesel truck docks are sanctioned to be located. Yet the money raised via PTO and PTA or Corporate Sponsors on the affluent side of town are not equally shared among all district students. Hence the Mathews Effect the rich schools get richer and the poor schools stay poor.

    Yes the Department of Education Budget needs to fund a Compliance Department that enforces the Civil Rights Laws of Educational Equity. Stop Separate and Unequal School Funding based on zip codes. Thank you for reading my personal parent opinion. I do not want to experience more work retaliation for exercising my First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech in defending our students” 14th Amendment Rights of Equal Protections Under Federal Law.

    I speak the Inconvenient Truth the “elephant ” in the Silicon Valley Educational System is that Silicon Valley schools have become the nation’s public school CASTE system.

    Please find a way within the US Federal Department of Education budget to bridge the wealth disparity poverty index gaps that require more federal dollars for less fortunate students to receive comparable technology and STEM opportunities while still providing for smaller class size and parent engagement without retaliation if parents voice concern regarding Equity issues.

    I fully support the efforts of president Barack Obama and Martha Kanter and others at the Dept of Education to provide free community college! This is a historical step in the right direction to inspire poor students to not give up . Community College is a great equalizer!

    Teresa R. Hernandez
    (Personal Parent Opinion)
    Padres Unidos California
    Parent and Advocate

  3. President Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan have fought tooth and nail for the education of the African Americans, Hispanics, Alaskans, and the most vulnerable. President Obama said education is a key to STEM which shall open opportunities of jobs in the United States. The children and students have the right to education. The children are happy to go to school; and students will go to colleges and universities and this is what President Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan are tirelessly fighting for, from 2012 and they make sure it happens and 2015 is the year of implementation.

  4. I could not submit my story above, so I will post it here instead

    I grew up in low SES neighborhoods and went to schools in these neighborhoods. In high school that all changed when I went to a high school in Rancho Cucamonga which is a much nicer and wealthier neighborhood. The difference in schools was like night and day. They had the best sports, the best arts department and that made being involved in extracurricular much more attractive for students which was not the case in the schools I went to.

    I am currently in a graduate program to become an Educational counselor. I have interned in schools in San Bernardino Unified School District. The city has a high rate of poverty among youth and the resources for schools is scarce. A budget increase in schools will allow districts like San Bernardino City Unified to provide resources to kids that schools like those in Rancho Cucamonga easily do. Those in lower income neighborhoods already are living in the worst conditions. The least we can do as a nation is provide a good budget to schools to give those coming from a low SES background an equal opportunity to succeed.

    I know San Bernardino City Unified is pushing this Cradle to Career Concept in their district and there are many other plans to make the schools better, but without a budget that hope in a quality education for students almost seems impossible.

    As someone who will soon become a counselor I want to do everything I can to make sure the students I come into contact with have everything they need to succeed. I do not want to hit a dead end because it is not in my schools budget. Please put education as a priority. It is for the better future of our nation.

  5. Budget money providing financial support for the special education learning needs of children in the public school districts mainly are paying the educational staff and not necessarily benefiting the children. I have heard several parents complain their children are not getting the special education services they need in the schools. Also, the public school are not collaborating with the after-school programs (YMCA is an example) where children are on medications and not being monitored nor are IEP or BIP goals necessarily being carried out by after-school programs and children are not being observed as would be expected when they have BIP or IEPs. Oregon has most highest rate of drop out, drug use, and Autism. As a special education graduate, I have encountered rejection and competitiveness in Oregon school districts, after-school programs, developmental outreach service agencies, and preschools as if it were a thing about who is going to receive the higher pay associated w/special education services/ jobs, who will be the “one in charge”, and who will have the “high tech” job that involves medication administration and exclusive clients. Also, most of the supervisors/interviewing staff of employment agencies for developmental disabilities, the preschools (not Head Start), the public and private school’s special education departments don’t have the education in special education I have nor the experience–instead it is as if they avoid hiring more competent staff. Who knows…the more services are needed and aren’t currently effective–the more these entities want more money to resolve the problems with the kiddos.

  6. My comments were not able to be sent. I just wanted to express the fact that underemployment is a major issue in Indianapolis. Young adults and chidren are both in desperate need of tutoring programs, especially in preparation for istep. I met with my daughter’s teachers today and I pray that afterschool tutoring becomes a big priority as well as ways to build confidence in learning for fifth through twelvth grade students. Please set aside more dollars, for higher living wages for part time workers, especially those in education. This is helping our future.

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