Key Questions on the Obama Administration's 2013 Education Budget Request

President Barack Obama submitted his third budget request to Congress on February 13th, 2012. The budget request includes proposed funding levels for all federal programs and agencies in aggregate for the upcoming 10 fiscal years, and specific fiscal year 2013 funding levels for programs subject to the annual appropriations process.

It is important to remember that the president's budget request is a policy and budget proposal, but not legislation or law. Actual fiscal year 2013 funding levels for nearly all federal education programs will be determined through the congressional appropriations process that Congress aims to complete by the start of the new fiscal year, which begins October 1st, 2012. Policy changes and funding levels that the president proposes for education programs not funded through appropriations process (i.e. mandatory programs) are also subject to congressional approval.

In an effort to heighten the quality of debate on federal education policy, the New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project has reviewed the president's proposals and generated a list of key questions policymakers, the media, stakeholder groups, and the public should ask about the proposals. 

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Jennifer Cohen Kabaker