Biden Budget Released Today

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Biden Budget Released Today

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Education. As expected, the budget proposal for Education greatly exceeds past budget requests by past Administrations in its request for an additional $29.8 billion over the funding included in FY 2021. The almost $30 billion increase is more than three times the education increase ever requested by any President. This request would put FY 2022 about $20 billion above the level of a decade ago in real dollars, allowing for meaningful investments rather than just struggling to cover costs.

Two-thirds of the Education Department’s increase is for Title I, whose funding is more than doubled with a $20 billion increase; President Biden campaigned on a pledge to triple Title I funding, and this investment goes more than two thirds of the way toward that goal in one year. Specifically, the Administration will be using the Title I increase $ for what they are calling “Title I equity grants.” The goal of this standalone Title I funding will help address long-standing funding disparities between under-resourced school districts and their wealthier counterparts and provide critical new support to advance the President's commitments to ensure teachers at Title I schools are paid competitively, ensure equitable access to rigorous curriculum, expand access to pre-kindergarten and provide meaningful incentives to examine and address inequalities in school funding systems.” It is unclear how the Title I equity grants could be leveraged to urge states to examine and address state financing disparities of low-income schools, but clearly there’s an attempt to achieve that goal with this additional pot of funding.

 

Other things to note:

  • The Administration proposes a $2.7 billion increase for IDEA. This aligns with the increased IDEA funding that was allotted in the American Rescue Plan. We support this increase as it would allow districts to not have to initially worry about IDEA maintenance of effort requirements since the funding would be level for two years.
  • The Administration is also recommending a major increase in Title III grants for ELLs with a proposed increase of $917 million from $797 million in FY21.
  • The Administration is also recommending the creation of 2 new grant programs. The $1 billion “School-based health professionals fund” would provide formula grants to State educational agencies, which would then make competitive grants to high-need local educational agencies to support the goal of doubling the number of health professionals, including school counselors, nurses, school psychologists, and social workers, in our Nation's schools. $25 million is allocated to building climate resilient schools, which would allow States to award competitive grants to districts to renovate schools, so they are safe, eco-friendly, and climate resilient, and to support projects that address health risks such as poor air quality and ventilation and lack of access to clean water.
  • The Administration is recommending a $5 million increase to the Rural Education Achievement Program.
  • The Administration proposed to continue funding the DC voucher program at the same level as the prior Administration.

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