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Monday, May 17, 2021

Politics: A New Budget

Schools and colleges will soon have less resources to work with when the Trump administration’s budget plans are executed.

According to a report published by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Trump’s budget plan for 2018 cuts the U.S. Department of Education’s funding from $68 billion to $59 billion; a 13 percent reduction in funding.  

Moreover, the budget plan will cut $3.9 billion in unobligated carryover funding from the Pell program; the largest federal grant program in the United States.

“If they did take away the Pell grant, or made it harder to qualify, then I would not be at school because I am fully dependent on it,” Western Junior Lucielle Bolton said.

Others aren’t so fazed by this decision.

“I don’t think it would affect me very much. I’m not getting a ton of financial aid from the college anyway,” Aaron Bosscher, electronic engineering pre-major, said.

The budget plan will also cut 20 grant programs to public schools and colleges, which the administration claims, “do not address national needs, duplicate other programs, or are more appropriately supported with State, local, or private funds,” according to the report.  

“It’s hard for me to think that cutting education is a good idea when we spend so much on military involvement. It doesn’t seem like it’s the right path,” Bolton said.

Jeremy Miller, management systems major, said with the decrease in college funding Western would experience decreased student involvement in research programs and the number of students pursuing master’s degrees.

“I wholeheartedly disagree with this,” Miller said. “The grant administration is a crucial part of university funding and is something that goes along in furthering education for our generation and generations to come.”

The grant programs the administration plans to cut include Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property, and international education programs.  

“I think a lot of money goes to grants, but they’re not what they say they are,” Bosscher said. “I don’t know a lot about those grants. They could be going to things that could be very helpful, but I feel like they make it a bigger deal than it really is.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, unobligated funds are Federal funds left over from the annual budget period.

Grant recipients may request to use a portion or all of those funds to fund the grant, at the permission of the U.S. Grants Management Advisory.

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