President Trump’s administration has proposed budget cuts to multiple programs that fund public schools across the nation.
On the chopping block is the 21st Century Learning Grant, as well as Title I funding.
The 21st Century Learning Grant provides funding for before school, after school and summer programs for low income children. Greeneville City Schools in Greeneville, Tennessee receive $412,000 annually from these grants.
“If 21st Century goes away, three of our four elementary schools will lose their before school, after school and summer school programs,” said Ken Fay, Federal Projects Director for Greeneville City Schools.
The Trump administration’s budget proposal removes this program altogether.
Also up for cuts is Title I funding. This program began over 50 years ago, but is now looking at a 17 percent decrease in public school distribution money. According to Fay, this deficit could be felt by his school system as early as next year.
“These funds provide for additional staff in the schools,” said Fay. “It also allows schools to purchase equipment and other supplies that they would normally not be able to have.”
The amount of Title I funding a school system receives depends on the number of children who qualify for free and reduced meals at their schools. Approximately $500,000 is currently being provided to Greeneville City Schools each year. By August, the system may be reduced to $415,000.
“This will be a significant loss of revenue, and we do not have the ability to generate this amount of funds,” said Fay. “This will result in staffing cuts, particularly in the area of [Response to Intervention] where a lot of assistants help children who are struggling with reading.”