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President’s Budget Proposal Consolidates TPSID Funding

On February 13, 2012, President Obama released his budget to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012. The Administration’s budget proposes to consolidate the $10.9 million funding for the Model Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSIDs) into the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

While the proposal includes continued funding for current grants, there is no guarantee that FIPSE will be funded by Congress or that TPSID funding would not be shifted to other programs at a later date if it is consolidated under FIPSE.

The Administration budget release comes closely on the heels of final appropriations decisions for FY 2012. On December 16, 2011, the House of Representatives passed the nine-bill omnibus appropriations package that is providing funding through September 2012 for most federal agencies, including the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The Senate passed the bill the following day, December 17. The President’s budget proposal for FY 2012 also would have consolidated TPSID funding into FIPSE. Strong advocacy resulted in the FY 2012 appropriations bill continuing the $10.9 million for the TPSIDs and coordinating center in a specific line item. This was very good news in light of the current difficult economic climate and the House appropriations bill that would have eliminated the TPSID grants.

Vigilance and advocacy will be required to ensure that Congress continues to fund the 27 current TPSID programs and coordinating center administered by Think College in the FY 2013 budget.

Submitted by Stephanie Smith Lee

See also “Obama’s Budget Leaves Funding Unclear for Disabled College Students” (U.S. News & World Report, February 14, 2012)