WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) on Tuesday reiterated his desire to find an agreement on funding for federal programs to support education and teacher development.
Cochran serves on the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which held a hearing Tuesday to review the FY2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education.  The budget plan submitted to Congress last month by the Trump administration recommends $59 billion for the Education Department in FY2018, a $9.2 billion reduction from FY2017.
“We have our work cut out for us.  I plan to use my best efforts to squeeze us through the challenge of taking a hard look at federal education programs, making improvements, and coming up with a bill,” said Cochran, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“The education of our children is a priority in Mississippi and all our states.  We need to train teachers and support the training of teachers.  There are legitimate federal programs to help educate children that should be on the front burner for support,” he said.
As part of the hearing, Cochran submitted questions to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that address his concerns about budget proposals to significantly cut or eliminate funding for programs that benefit Mississippi as a rural state.
Specifically, Cochran requested additional information on how the Department of Education will invest in early childhood education, literacy skills, and educator recruitment and development while also proposing to cut programs that benefit those areas.
The subcommittee hearing is only one of many scheduled by the Senate Appropriations Committee to review aspects of the Trump administration budget proposal.