President Biden’s Budget Request:
Last week, President Biden released his discretionary request for Fiscal Year 22, which would be available to districts during the school year 2022-2023. Overall, the request proposes record investment in the federal education programs and represents a $29.8 billion increase over the regular FY 2021 level. Specifics on the budget are listed below.
ED Funding Formula Programs
$36.5 billion for Title I – This is a $20 billion (41%) increase over the 2021 level and more than doubles funding for the largest K-12 education program.
$15.5 billion for IDEA Part B state grants – The budget increases IDEA state grant funding by $2.6 billion (20%), which leaves the program far below the “ 40% full-funding” level of about $39 billion. Still, this would be a large down payment toward the full-funding goal. The budget also increases the Infant and Toddler Part C program by $250 million (52%).
Other ED increases not quite specific enough to be quantifiable to particular programs –
$1 billion for mental health services – The document doesn’t say whether this is an increase for the Title IV-A program but notes that it is providing $1 billion to increase the number of school counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals.
Increase of $100 million (about 50%) for programs aiming to increase participation in science and engineering of individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
$443 million for Full-Service Community Schools – The budget provides a $413 million (1377% - yes, that is correct!) increase for this $30 million program that provides wraparound services to students and their families.
$100 million for a new diverse schools program – The budget funds a new grant program to help communities create schools with more diverse student bodies rather than ones that often are de facto segregated by race and family income.
Increases outside of ED –
$7.4 billion for CCDBG – Within the HHS, this child care funding is a $1.5 billion (25%) increase in child care funding from the regular FY 2021 level (the American Rescue Plan also included additional CCDBG funding for FY 2021).
$11.9 billion for Head Start – This level is a $1.2 billion (11%) increase over the FY 2021 level at HHS.
$450 million for Preschool Development Grants – This is a $175 million (64%) increase for a program that was frozen at $275 million in FY 2021, also in HHS.
$3.7 billion for WIOA state grants – At the Department of Labor, the budget increases funds for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) state grants by $203 million (6%).
$285 million for apprenticeship programs – The budget provides a $100 million increase to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities within Labor.
Biden Infrastructure Proposal:
Last week, President Biden released the details of his American Jobs Plan. Overall, the proposal calls for an investment of an estimated $2 trillion over the next decade for improving and constructing roads and bridges, schools and child care facilities, affordable housing, and other elements of more traditional infrastructure.
Specifically, the education-related components of the proposal include:
- $100 billion for school modernization and construction
- $25 billion to upgrade child care facilities and increase access
- $100 billion to support workforce development programs
- $100 billion to expand and improve broadband access
- $111 billion to replace all lead pipes across the country.
The Education Week
coverage of the proposal is available here
. A White House fact sheet on the American Jobs Plan is accessible here
. Additionally, AASA has an analysis of the infrastructure proposal here
While NREAC is appreciative of any federal investment for public school facilities, it is important to note that the President’s proposed investment around school construction and modernization efforts represents a significant dip in funding from other proposals that have moved forth on Capitol Hill. For comparison, the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Bobby Scott, has championed the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act (RRASA). This proposal would allocate $100 billion in grants and 30 billion in capital outlay bonds. Therefore, this portion of the American Jobs Plan represents a $50B reduction in total grant funding compared to other House Democrat proposals on school infrastructure.
Speaker Pelosi has announced her intention to pass this bill before the July 4th recess, but many are skeptical given the lack of detail in this proposal about how realistic that timeline actually is. NREAC will certainly make a hard push to ensure school infrastructure is included in any Congressional package and funded in an appropriate, equity-centered way. Please stay tuned to see how you can advocate and for the maximum funding needed to address the longstanding crumbling and decrepit condition of some of our nation’s school buildings and grounds.
Finally, the Biden administration is still expected to release an American Families Plan in the coming weeks. From our intel, this proposal will focus on “human infrastructure” investments, which may include initiatives for tuition-free community college, universal pre-kindergarten, an expansion of the child tax credit, and other education-related investments.
Letter to Dept. of ED: Recommendations to Improve Rural Education Outreach:
This month, NREAC and 16 other allied organizations sent a letter
to Secretary Miguel Cardona this last month requesting that the Department of Education expand its efforts to increase engagement with rural education stakeholders, promote staff understanding of the challenges facing rural local education agencies, and improve the intra-agency rural education-related policymaking efforts of and between the Department’s senior leadership, White House Domestic Policy Council, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Check out the full details on the Leading Edge Blog
K12 School Facilities Belong In National Infrastructure Stimulus:
On March 29th, NREAC and more than 130 allied education, health, environmental, labor, and industry organizations sent a letter
to House Leadership urging the inclusion of the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act (RRASA) as passed last Congress in any upcoming infrastructure package enacted into law. The [Re]Build America’s School Infrastructure Coalition (BASIC) made it clear that while the American Rescue Plan and COVID-19 Relief funds will enable districts to operate their 20th-century schools more safely, the funding will not enable high-need LEAs and schools to modernize critical infrastructure for the 21st century. Thus, further exacerbating long-standing inequities.
By allocating $100 billion in direct grants and $30 billion in bond interest subsidies, Congress can address obsolete and deteriorated conditions in high-need rural, town, suburban, and urban public school facilities. AASA was proud to join the BASIC in this effort to advocate for a comprehensive local, state, and federal partnership to modernize our nation’s public school facilities infrastructure. Click here to read the letter