Biden budget calls for historic hikes in education funding
President Biden’s budget proposal for next year, released May 28, increases funding for the U.S. Department of Education by more than 40 percent—in percentage terms, the biggest increase for any federal agency. The proposal underscores his administration’s continuing commitment to students and educators, the backbone of our nation’s human infrastructure.
Title I funding for high-poverty schools would more than double, rising by $20 billion—the biggest year-over-year increase since the program’s inception in 1965. The annual Pell Grant maximum would rise significantly, with access expanded to Dreamers. Funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) would rise by $600 million. The president’s budget proposal also includes historic increases for community schools, a $3.1 billion boost in funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and a $1 billion investment in school counselors. TAKE ACTION
Give school food service workers the support they deserve
The unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic include school food service workers all across the country. Even when schools were closed, they reported to work and found innovative ways to keep kids from going hungry. Yet, many of these workers don’t have access to the training they need for this important work. The Improving Training for School Food Service Workers Act (S. 1834/H.R. 2897) would help make training available that maximizes hands-on opportunities during regular, paid working hours. TAKE ACTION
Cheers and Jeers
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the Stop Child Hunger Act of 2021 (S. 1831/H.R. 3519) to establish a permanent, nationwide electronic benefits transfer (EBT) program for children during school breaks and closures.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting updates on the Education Department’s actions to protect student borrowers during the pandemic, including how the agency plans to restart student loan payments and whether it plans to extend contracts with student loan companies.