More Peril for Pell

As the battle over the 2011 federal budget continued Tuesday on Capitol Hill, with a possible government shutdown looming, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) launched what is sure to be the next spending fight: a proposed federal budget for 2012 that would cut entitlement spending and slash spending on grants to low-income students, research, and job-training programs.

The proposal calls for reducing Pell Grants to "pre-stimulus" levels, consolidating job-training programs into "career scholarships" and pruning spending on applied research and development while maintaining funds for basic research. It deals more in words than numbers, laying out general principles of the budget while avoiding specific financial details for most smaller discretionary programs.

"There’s a lot that we can’t know about it and don’t know about it," said Becky Timmons, assistant vice president for government relations at the American Council on Education. "It’s obviously pretty drastic, and the impact on Pell is dire."

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