Education policy was a major portion of President Barack Obama's 2015-16 national budget proposal, though analysts acknowledge that many parts of the plan are unlikely to make it through a GOP-controlled Congress.
His proposal, released Feb. 2, would increase taxes on multinational corporations and the rich, expand tax credits for poor and middle classes and boost funding in education.
UNC economics professor Patrick Conway said the president in his final two years has proposed an increase in federal expenditures in key areas — as opposed to in his first six years in office, where he was reducing government spending.
The president proposed a total of $70.7 billion in discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Education, which is a 5.4 percent increase from its 2014-15 funding. The money would go toward increasing equity and opportunity in education, expanding high-equality early learning programs, supporting teachers and leaders and improving higher education, according to a Department of Education statement.
Key education investments from the budget include a $2.7 billion increase for elementary and secondary education to help all students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers; $750 million in grants to help certain states lay the foundation for universal public preschool; and a $60.3 billion investment to provide two years of free community college to responsible students.