President Diann Woodard’s Statement on Obama’s Budget Request for FY 2014

On Wednesday, April 10th, President Obama officially released his budget request for Fiscal Year 2014.
AFSA is very pleased Obama’s request includes $71.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education, which is an increase of $3.1 billion, or 4.5 percent, above the FY 2012 level.

As the leaders of our nation’s public schools, AFSA applauds the president for his request to triple the funding for the School Leadership Program, dedicating $98 million toward principals and assistant principals’ training, as opposed to consolidating the funds with teacher development, which has been proposed in past budget requests. Developing strong teachers is critical, but can only be accomplished by supporting, developing and training strong assistant principals and principals. The School Leadership Program will help make this possible.

We are also pleased to see the president’s commitment to Early Learning. All children deserve the opportunity to learn and to succeed, and it is well documented that every dollar invested in early childhood generates a future $7.00 in savings. We are also hopeful that a federal-state partnership will lead to an Early Learning system that is consistent, research based, developmentally appropriate, and led in our schools under the direction of certified, licensed educators.

We are however, very concerned with the proposal to slash Social Security benefits by $130 billion and shift $64 billion in health care costs to Medicare beneficiaries over the next 10 years.

We are pleased the request includes additional revenues, but it does far too much harm to workers and asks far too little of the biggest, most profitable corporations. Public employees did not cause the recent economic collapse, yet time and again they are being asked to bear the heaviest burden by having their earned benefits and retirement security whittled away.

We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to achieve a budget that fully reflects our national priorities.