2015 Education Budget: What You Need to Know

President Obama’s 2015 budget request reflects his belief not only that education is a top priority, but that America’s public schools offer the clearest path to the middle class. Investing in education now will make us more competitive in the global economy tomorrow, and will help ensure equity of opportunity for every child.

Budget Proposal GraphicThe administration’s request for about $69 billion in discretionary appropriations represents an increase of nearly 2 percent over the previous year and slightly more than the 2012 discretionary level for education before the sequester.

Three-quarters of that $69 billion goes to financial aid to students in college, special education, and high-poverty schools (Title I). The remaining 23 percent targets specific areas designed to leverage major changes in the educational opportunity and excellence for all students, including expansion of access to high-quality preschool, data-driven instruction based on college- and career-ready standards, making college more affordable, and mitigating the effects of poverty on educational outcomes.

Education priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015:

Increasing Equity and Opportunity for All Students

Despite major progress for America’s students, deep gaps of opportunity and achievement endure. The Obama administration is committed to driving new energy to solving those problems. Nearly every element of the federal education budget aims to ensure equity of opportunity, and a new proposed fund, Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity would complement existing efforts by further supporting strong state and local efforts to improve equity.

Learn more about Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity.

Making Quality Preschool Available for All 4-Year-Olds

In one of the boldest efforts to expand educational opportunity in the last 50 years, President Obama has committed to a historic new investment in preschool education that supports universal access to high-quality preschool for all 4-year olds from low- and moderate-income families and creates an incentive for states to serve additional middle-class children.

Learn more about support for early learning.

Strengthening Support for Teachers and School Leaders

All educators should have the resources and support they need to provide effective instruction and to personalize learning to students’ needs. Technology can help teachers do this. Teachers and school leaders must know how to make the best use of technology. The new ConnectEDucators proposal would provide funding to help educators leverage technology and data to provide high-quality college- and career-ready instruction that meets the needs of all students.

Learn more about the new ConnectEDucators proposal.

Improving Affordability, Quality, and Success in Postsecondary Education

Improving college access and completion is an economic necessity and a moral imperative. Few good career options exist for those whose education ends with high school. College has long represented the surest route to the middle class—but the middle class is increasingly being priced out of college. America once ranked first in the college completion rate of its young people; we now rank twelfth. Reclaiming the top spot in college completion is essential for maximizing both individual opportunity and our economic prosperity, which is why the President has made increasing college affordability and improving college completion a major focus of his 2015 budget.

Learn more about improving college affordability.

Making Schools Safer and Creating Positive Learning Environments

The President’s plan to increase school safety and to decrease gun violence includes investments not only to prepare schools for emergencies, but also to create positive school climates and help children recover from the effects of living in communities plagued by persistent violence.

Learn more about the fiscal year 2015 budget request.

Cameron Brenchley is director of digital strategy at the U.S. Department of Education


  1. Why is there no mention of the President’s initiative to cap Public Service Loan Forgiveness at less than $60,000? If that proposal passes congress, tens of thousands of lawyers and physicians currently working at nonprofits will be saddled with unpayable debt for up to 25 years. How exactly is that going to be good for the economy?

  2. I retired in 2009 after spending 35 years in the classroom teaching chemistry and physics. In 2012 I began substutute teaching at a local military academy – a private 7 – 12 high school. The classes are small. Typically there are 7 to 12 students in each class, with some classes having 18 students. As a result of this experience, I did some research and found that those small class sizes are typical at private schools. This would seem to provide some solid evidence that small class sizes are effective. Although expensive, might it not make sense for the Department of Education to begin advocating for small class sizes in our public schools? The Charter School/ Vouchers for private schools movement results in students attending schools with smaller classes. If a good goal is to make American Public Education world class, then it seems that advocating for smaller class size certainly makes sense. It is time for OUR government to invest in America’s future.

  3. I am a mother of three boys who is going back to school, in atteumpt to create a better life for my two yonger sons, better than the one I was able to provide for my oldest. Anyway I just wanted to say I am glad to hear that your beliefe of children are our future,and how do I find more information on help paying for college,rent,utilities,child care and transportation? All this is costing more than what I can borrow or make.

  4. Dear President Obama,
    Thank you for your dedication and hard work. You are doing a great job! Please keep up the good work.


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