Trump administration officials are proposing cuts to $1.3 billion in funding for the Education Department’s Education Partnership Program and its affiliated programs, an education reform advocacy group has learned.
The Education Department announced last week that it would eliminate the funding for a variety of initiatives, including the Partnership Program, which is the foundation of the Office for Civil Rights, the Justice Department and other federal civil rights offices.
The funding reductions come after the Trump Administration announced last month that it was cutting $800 million in funding from the Office of Civil Rights and the Justice and Education Departments to improve its enforcement of civil rights laws, which could affect the Education Partnership.
The Trump Administration also plans to cut funding for two programs aimed at combating discrimination in the classroom: a national initiative that works to combat the use of racially biased classroom materials, and the Office on Race and Equity, which works to address the problems of racial discrimination in schools.
The Office on Civil Rights was created in 1990 as a special office within the Department of Education to address racism in the nation’s public schools, but has become a lightning rod for controversy over how it is run and how it works.
It has received bipartisan support in Congress, but is not without its detractors, including members of Congress who have repeatedly attacked it.
“The Education Partnership has been plagued by problems of funding and accountability and has not provided the high quality of services needed by the schools that receive funding from this program,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement to the American Federation of Teachers earlier this year.
“As such, the Education partnership has been reduced in scope, with its activities limited to ensuring compliance with Title IX, and in many instances has failed to address systemic and systemic problems with Title VII.”
The Education Assistance Program (EAP), a federal program for students who are low-income, is the other of the Education Department’s two programs.
The program provides grants to students who qualify, and it also offers tutoring services for low- and moderate-income students.
The announcement also came after the Education Assistance Programs’ board voted to cut $600,000 in funding to the program.
“We are deeply disappointed in this decision,” Education Assistance Director Karen Roper said in the statement.
“This cut will further jeopardize the quality of education that students receive in our schools, and we urge our colleagues across the aisle in Congress to continue to work together to ensure that all children in our country have access to quality educational opportunities.”
The proposed cuts are the latest in a series of measures to target the Education department since Trump took office.
Last month, the administration announced a new plan to eliminate federal support for Title IX education and eliminate funding for programs focused on fighting racism and promoting racial equity in the workplace.
Trump administration officials have also called for eliminating funding for “special education” education programs, including Title I, which helps students with disabilities.
The White House has previously stated that Title I funding should be restored, but this administration has not yet committed to making that happen.
The proposal to eliminate the Education Agency’s Education Assistance program comes on the heels of a recent federal court ruling that found the program is unconstitutional, meaning that it does not comply with federal laws.