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Education Department would see 9.7 percent rise in discretionary spending

By Nick Anderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 1, 2010; 12:16 PM

For the Education Department, the Obama administration proposes $50.7 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2011, up 9.7 percent from the current level.

That increase excludes the Pell grant student aid program, which is in flux, and includes a $1 billion reserve to be activated if Congress rewrites the No Child Behind law, which is far from certain.

The budget would pump up competitive grant funding, including $1.35 billion to extend the Race to the Top school reform initiative, but would leave major formula-driven programs largely flat. That reflects Education Secretary Arne Duncan's goal of spurring reform through incentives.

Among the winners: $900 million for turning around struggling schools, up 65 percent; $500 million for investing in innovation, extending an initiative for local school systems and nonprofit organizations that was launched under the stimulus law; and $490 million for "expanding educational options," including public charter schools, up 20 percent.

For the full budget request, click here.

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