The recent release of the Trump Administration’s FY2020 budget request once again proposes deep cuts to programs affecting social studies educators nationwide. Of direct concern is the proposed elimination of the U.S. Department of Education’s K-12 American History & Civics Grants and Academies, currently funded at $4.8 million.
In addition, there are several other proposed cuts to programs which are important to teacher professional development and student achievement in the social studies. These are summarized in the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Summary (see page 49). Major programs to be aware of include:
- Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.17 billion
- Supporting Effective Educator Development: $75 million
- Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants: $2.055 billion
- Teacher Quality Partnership: $43.1 million
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) strongly opposes these proposed cuts to the FY2020 federal budget.
“Building the future of social studies means funding programs to mentor and support teachers of social studies – and to support students in social studies learning. We simply do not strengthen our education system by cutting funds that support teachers and students,” said NCSS President India S. Meissel.
NCSS Executive Director Dr. Lawrence Paska stated, “At a time when numerous civics education bills are being discussed in many state legislatures, and elementary-level teacher professional development for social studies content knowledge is advocated nationwide, further cuts to funding for student achievement and teacher professional development in the social studies only serve to increase the equity gap in our schools, and prevent educators from preparing all students for college, career, and civic life.”
NCSS urges Congress to reject these proposed cuts and to appropriate funds including these programs in the FY2020 budget.