A Damaging Budget Proposal from Trump

The Trump administration's proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year makes drastic cuts to education, slashing federal student aid and research funding.

We'll deliver the letter below, opposing these cuts, on June 15 during a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. Sign on today.

An Open Letter to the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee.

The Trump administration's budget proposal, if enacted, would make drastic cuts to education, slashing federal student aid and research funding. At the same time, it would give big tax breaks to the rich. We believe that colleges and universities are a public good. Learning and the search for truth are vital for a functioning democracy. Cutting education funding as proposed to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations is grotesque.

We strongly oppose the proposed cuts to student aid, which would disproportionately affect low- income students and students of color. The public-service loan-forgiveness program, subsidized Stafford Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants would be eliminated. Graduate students using income-based loan repayment would see their costs rise dramatically. The Perkins Loan Program would be allowed to expire. Funding for the Federal Work-Study Program would be halved.

We call on Congress to protect the arts and humanities and the sciences. Under the budget, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be phased out. The budget of the National Institutes of Health would be cut by close to 20 percent, and the National Science Foundation budget would be cut by more than 10 percent. Research funding at other agencies would be significantly reduced. This cannot stand.

We support international  and foreign-language education. The proposal would eliminate programs that foster foreign-language study and reduce funding for international-education programs and exchanges, such as the Fulbright Scholar Program, by 55 percent.

Fortunately, the Trump administration cannot unilaterally impose these cuts. The final 2018 budget will be the product of what are likely to be prolonged negotiations with the House and Senate, and many legislators have already taken issue with different aspects of the proposal. We urge more to do so.

We the undersigned call on you to strongly oppose these damaging proposed cuts and protect our higher education system.