EdWeek reports that Congress’s new budget ignored the funding proposals by the Trump administration’s to slash education spending and shift large sums of money to choice. 

Congratulations to a bipartisan coalition in a congress that stopped Trump and DeVos from performing radical surgery on useful federal programs.

“Lawmakers sent a message to President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in their bill to fund the federal government: We’re not the biggest fans of your big education ideas.

“Congress would increase spending at the U.S. Department of Education by $2.6 billion over previously enacted levels in fiscal year 2018, up to $70.9 billion, under a new omnibus spending bill that could finally resolve a months-long logjam on Capitol Hill.

“In addition, funding for Title I, the biggest pot of federal money for public schools, which is earmarked for disadvantaged students, would increase by $300 million from fiscal 2017 enacted spending, up to $15.8 billion.

“The fiscal 2018 spending bill, released late Wednesday, doesn’t contain several key changes sought by Trump in his first budget plan. In fact, Trump’s budget plan for fiscal 2018 would have cut discretionary education spending by $9.2 billion. So Congress’ bill is a significant rebuke of sorts to the president’s education vision.

“In fact, the spending bill leaves out a $250 million private school choice initiative the president and DeVos sought, as well as a $1 billion program designed to encourage open enrollment in districts.

“Title II, which provides professional development to educators, would be flat-funded at roughly $2.1 billion. The Trump budget pitch for fiscal 2018 eliminated Title II entirely—it was the single biggest cut to K-12 Trump sought for fiscal 2018. And Title IV, a block grant for districts that can fund a diverse set of needs from school safety to ed-tech, would receive $1.1 billion, a big increase from its curent funding level of $400 million. Trump also sought to eliminate Title IV.

“Funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers would rise up by $20 million up to $1.2 billion; that’s another program the Trump budget proposal axed. In addition, special education grants would go up by $299 million to $13.1 billion. And federal aid to charter schools would increase to $400 million, a $58 million boost…

”The top Senate Democrat for education, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, praised the bipartisan agreement to dismiss the “extreme ideas to privatize our nation’s public schools and dismantle the Department of Education” from DeVos.”

Too bad that the federal government will put more money into charters. Democrats still fail to realize the dangers of privatization posed by privately managed charters, which take public money but fight accountability and oversight. Nor do they seem alarmed that public schools are being eliminated in cities like Indianapolis and Washington, D.C.