Details of Budget Compromise Released

April 12, 2011

Initial details from this weekends budget compromise were finally released this morning. A detailed list of program cuts can be found here (PDF).

I’m not an expert on these things, but here is my quick sense of how the cuts impact different elements of our democracy, which we have been covering extensively on this blog over the past month. I’m guessing that this analysis is partial and a bit incorrect, so please take my read on the numbers with a grain of salt.  I‘ll update have updated this post as soon as more information has becomes clear from the experts.

  • Election Assistance Grants: It appears that these were totally eliminated, which is consistent with the President’s initial budget request.
  • Public Broadcasting: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was cut by $110 million from FY2010, which is a significant cut, but I’m pretty sure retains most programming. I believe its original budget was in the neighborhood of $500 million. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy: “The package would leave the basic allocation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting unchanged—$445-million for the 2013 fiscal year, the same as for 2012 (public broadcasting gets money two years in advance, in part because many of its programs take time to plan). However, it would cut other spending that benefits public radio and television broadcasters, for example trimming the budget for digital content and services from $36-million to $6-million.”
  • Civic Education: I’m not sure exactly where civic education stands at this point. It appears that the “Safe Schools and Citizenship Education program” was cut by $435 million from FY2010, which is $331 million more in cuts than had originally been proposed by the president. It looks like the “Teaching of Traditional American History” program got funding back. An initial proposed cut of $73 million which was proposed by the President got $46 million back, if I am reading this correctly. (SEE UPDATE BELOW)
  • Public Service: AmeriCorps got $161 million in cuts and Learn and Serve America got $80 million in cuts. (See update below, this means that Learn and Serve America was totally defunded.)
  • Public Financing of Elections: I don’t see anything here about public financing of presidential elections, which had been proposed to be cut. I’m not sure if that means that program was saved or if it is embedded in other cuts. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, public financing of presidential elections was maintained.
  • Census: It looks like the Census was cut by almost $100 million from FY2010.
  • Net Neutrality: I don’t see anything hear that indicates to me what happened to proposed cuts to enforcement of net neutrality by the FCC.

I’ll post updates when I know more. Please comment if you have additional details or corrections.


  • Service Learning: Peter Levine just sent an update that the Learn & Serve America program within the Corporation for National and Community Service, which has funded service learning in k-12 schools for the past 21 years was completely eliminated.
  • Civic Education: Ted McConnell from the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools just emailed that the Teach American History grant program, which funds civic education was cut from $119 million down to $46 million. According to CIRCLE, The Center for Civic Education, a national nonprofit whose primary source of funds for decades has been the United States Department of Education, was allocated no money. The entire civic education portfolio of the Department was zeroed out.
  • National Service: ServeNext just came out with the following numbers: The Corporation ofr National and Community Service will be funded at $1.1 billion with only a $72 million cut from FY2010. AmeriCorps received a $23 million cut. The National Service Trust will receive the same level of funding as 2010. As reported above, Learn and Serve America was defunded. No concrete info yet on Senior Corps.

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