Legislative Update: White House Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Proposal 


Legislative Update: White House Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Proposal 

Yesterday the White House released the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget proposal that asks for a $900 million increase in federal funding for Career Technical Education (CTE). This includes approximately:

  • $680 million allocated to the Basic State Grant; 
  • $83 million for National Programs, including the Innovation & Modernization Grant with a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focus; and
  • $100 million in additional funds from H-1B visa fees.

This is the most significant increase in federal funding that has ever been proposed for CTE, and is aligned with Advance CTE’s Board of Director-led campaign to double the federal investment in CTE. You can read Advance CTE’s full statement on the budget proposal here
CTE has been chronically underfunded, and even in inflation-adjusted dollars funding is far below levels from decades ago. Over the past 40 years, CTE funding has increased by only 1.6 percent. CTE is one part of the education and workforce continuum, and robust funding for all education and labor programs is vital.
The Department of Education budget was proposed at 7.8 percent lower than the amount enacted in FY20, and included: 

  • Level funding for adult education programs;
  • An increase of $137 million for the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program;
  • An increase of $100 million for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA); 
  • Expansion of Pell Grant eligibility to short-term programs and incarcerated individuals;
  • A cut of of over $600 million to Federal Work-Study;
  • Elimination of 11 programs, such as the State Longitudinal Data System and GEAR UP;
  • Elimination of Public Service Loan Forgiveness; and
  • A consolidation of 29 programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into one block grant, and a decrease of Title I funding by $4.8 billion. 

The Department of Labor budget was proposed at 10.7 percent lower than the amount enacted in FY20, and included:

  • Level funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult Employment and Training Activities; 
  • Level funding for WIOA Youth Activities; 
  • An increase of $25 million to registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs; 
  • A cut of $110 million to WIOA Dislocated Workers Employers and Training Activities; 
  • A cut of $10 million to YouthBuild programs; and
  • A cut of $5 million to Reentry Employment Opportunities program.

Next, Members of Congress will review this budget request and write their own FY21 appropriations bills. The President’s budget proposal may not necessarily be incorporated by the House or Senate, but it does signal what areas the administration deems as high priority. 
Below are additional resources: 

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate