President Obama’s Proposed Budget Increases Funding for Higher Education

In his 2015 budget released earlier this month, President Obama identified education as a cornerstone of his agenda to shore up the middle class and expand opportunity for all.

“I believe that what unites the people of this Nation, regardless of race or religion or party…is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all—the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead,” the President said.

The budget recognizes education as a commonsense priority for building the workforce of tomorrow, from expanding access to high quality early childhood education to funding federal K-12 programs to making higher education a possibility for hardworking students who can’t afford it.

Educators embraced the President’s focus on restoring funding for public education, even within the confines of limited resources as the nation continues to recover from the recession.

“Educators know that the road to economic security and prosperity starts in America’s classrooms,” said our national affiliate president President Dennis Van Roekel in a statement.

“Investing in early childhood education, expanding Head Start, making permanent a tax credit for college tuition and tax relief for college grants, and other middle-class tax reforms will help students, transform the economy and create opportunity for working- and middle-class families.”

The President proposes to build on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 crafted by Sen. Patty Murry and Rep. Paul Ryan with a 1.9 percent increase for education spending in fiscal year 2015.

The President also called to reverse the sequester cuts entirely by fiscal year 2016.  “We applaud the president for moving toward ending the era of austerity,” said Van Roekel. “Replacing the unnecessary automatic budget cuts, which caused significant harm to schools and working families, with smart investments in education, infrastructure, and research and development is necessary to move the country forward.”