Trump’s budget reduces Montana’s school funding by $21.5M

Dylan Klapmeier


Last week, President Trump released his proposed budget for the federal fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. This budget proposes a decrease of $9.2 billion, or 13.6 percent from the current funding level for the U.S. Department of Education.

It is important to note that this budget is just a proposal and Congress is ultimately responsible for creating and passing a federal budget. However, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen is concerned by the proposed budget. The OPI will serve as a resource to Montana’s Congressional delegation by providing data on what the impacts of any federal budget decisions on Montana’s schools would be. The OPI will continue to strategically allocate funds in order to best serve Montana students. 

The U.S. Department of Education released tables showing the impacts of the proposed budgets. The tables are available online at It is important to note that most federal education programs are “forward funded,” meaning the funding for state school year 2017-2018 is already approved. The proposed federal budget would affect our state school year 2018-2019.

• Federal funding for all elementary and secondary level programs would see a reduction of $21.5 million, or 11.7 percent under this proposed budget. This total includes programs, such as Impact Aid, where the funds go directly to school districts from the federal government.


Major reductions absorbed by school districts are:

• Eliminating Title IIA support for teachers and principals ($9.2 million)

• Eliminating 21st Century Community Learning Centers – after school programs ($5.6 million)

• Reducing Title IA grants that support students ($2.0 million)

• Eliminating Title IVA student support and academic enrichment grants ($1.8 million)

The OPI will continue monitoring the federal budgeting process to ensure that Montana students and schools are a priority. If you have any questions please contact OPI at (406) 444-3559,


Dylan Klapmeier is the Federal Relations director and media assistant for the Montana Office of Public Instruction.



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