What the 2023 Federal Budget Means for Education
What the 2023 Federal Budget Means for Education

By: Sydney Stapleton, Grants Development Consultant - Higher Education

With the passing of the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, the US Department of Education was allocated approximately 83.5 billion: an increase of $3.4 billion from FY22. Similarly, to FY22, Congress opted to allocate additional monies to many well-known programs housed under the Department of Education, instead of creating new funding programs.

K-12 US Department of Education Opportunities

In the K-12 funding arena, the Department of Education funded an additional $40 million for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program. 21st CCLC supports the establishment of community learning centers that provide academic improvement opportunities for children during non-school hours. The program puts increased emphasis on the support of students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. 21st CCLC helps students meet state and local standards while also offering a broad array of enrichment activities.

Alongside 21st CCLC, we saw a $50 million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program. EIR looks to support innovative solutions to persistent educational challenges and to support the expansion of effective solutions to serve substantially larger numbers of students. The program is looking to fund evidence-based innovations to improve student achievement especially for high-need students.

Throughout the Education budget, congress put an emphasis on the importance of Game-Based Learning (GBL). They see GBL as an engaging learning instrument in elementary education. While there is no outright funding in the budget allocating toward GBL grants, congress is encouraging the Department of Education to consider incorporating evidence-based GBL as a priority for its 2023 grants.

Higher Education US Department of Education Opportunities

For the FY23 budget there was a $50 million increase in support for the Career Technical Education (CTE) state grants. State education agencies have the final decision on if CTE funds will go toward K-12, Higher Education, or a combination of both. The increase is in line with the previous year’s budget, which had a major focus on workforce development initiatives.

An additional $137 million has been allocated in support to programs aimed at boosting Minority Serving Institutions.  It is anticipated that those funds will be a part of the existing HEA Title III and V funding that currently allocates funds to Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historical Black Colleges and Universities, and other Minority Serving Institutions across the country.

In the Higher education space, we saw a $108 million increase to the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program. FIPSE funds a variety of higher education projects around improving higher ed across a variety of grant program opportunities.  A new $50 million program under FIPSE was created to support “HBCU, TCU, and MSI Research and Development Infrastructure”. Another interesting program we see under FIPSE funding is the return of the Post-Secondary Student Success Program. This grant funds programs that support post-secondary students close to finishing their degree but have faced barriers and not completed their education. This program will be funded at $40 million this fiscal year.

Workforce Development in Opportunities in Higher Education

Along with the CTE State Grants mentioned above, we continue to see a focus on workforce development in the higher education funding landscape. The Department of Labor was funded at or above 2022 funding levels. The Workforce Investment Act and the National Apprenticeship Act received a 6% increase compared to FY22. YouthBuild Grants, Strengthening Community College Training Grants, and various programs to get people employed or re-employed received increased funding this fiscal year. The Strengthening Community College Training Grants (SSC) program received an increase of $15 million in funding. SCC supports activities that develop or improve educational and career training programs at community colleges. Collaborations with employers and the public workforce development system are crucial to this program and aim to meet local and regional labor market demands for a skilled workforce. 

A new program titled Disability Employment Initiative Grants has been allocated $9 million for research and demonstration projects related to testing effective ways to promote greater labor force participation of people with disabilities.

Science Research Opportunities for Higher Education

For many larger colleges and universities, research funding is another way to access funds from the federal budget. The National Science Foundation received an 8% increase in their total budget this year. It was, however, anticipated that it would be more based on the CHIPS and Science Act that was passed in 2022. With the passings of those acts we see an increased funding to some of the most technology-friendly grant programs coming out of the NSF.

We also saw a nearly 24% increase in funding for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in FY23. Funding totals $1.25 billion and is spread across many different programs. Like the Department of Education, a large portion of the increased funding will go to Minority Serving Institutions, including a 13% increase for the Historically Black Colleges & Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP), a 14% increase for Tribal Colleges & Universities Program (TCUP), and a 10% increase for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions program.



Photo Caption - Game-Based Learning (GBL) was called out by Congress in the 2023 Dept of Ed Budget. We anticipate funding opportunities to be released that incorporating evidence based GBL in elementary school education. To learn more about GBL see page