2022 Presidential budget focuses on racial equity, plus funding for various federal education priorities
School Finance Educator Preparation | Certification Congress | Federal
Date Posted: 3/16/2022 | Author: Andrea Chevalier
President Joe Biden has released his budget request to the U.S. Congress for the 2022 fiscal year (FY), which starts October 1. The President’s budget request outlines the White House’s spending priorities and makes recommendations to Congress regarding discretionary federal programs (such as defense and education), mandatory programs (such as Social Security and Medicare), and changes to the tax code. Deliberating and enacting the budget is ultimately in the hands of Congress, which is expected to finalize its budget resolution in April.
Biden’s recommendations to Congress focus on explaining the current state of racial inequities across various policy areas, with specific budget-based strategies to address these disparities. The recommendations build upon Biden’s platform staples—the American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan—and suggest various tax code reforms, including higher taxes for high-income Americans.
Here are some highlights of how Biden’s budget request relates to education:
Children and Families
- Invest in childcare, including $25 billion to upgrade and build new centers, funding to support small class sizes, and a $15 minimum wage for early childhood educators and ensuring those with qualifications similar to kindergarten teachers receive comparable compensation and benefits (as these individuals often leave early childcare positions for school district jobs).
- Fund part of all of the cost of childcare for families, so that middle-income families only pay up to 7% of their income, and childcare for the lowest-income families is fully covered.
- Extend the American Rescue Plan levels of the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which benefitted low- and middle-income families.
- Create a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program to ensure partial wage replacement for qualified leave, guarantee 12 weeks of paid parental/family/medical leave by year 10 of the program, and ensure three days of bereavement leave.
- Spend $200 billion to fund universal preschool in public or private settings for three- and four-year-old children that is accessible, inclusive of all student abilities, and high-quality with low student-to-teacher ratios.
- Provide $1.6 billion in funding for states to support educators in obtaining additional certifications in high-demand areas such as special education, bilingual education, and STEM.
- Allocate $1 billion to increase the number of counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals in schools, plus $443 million for Full-Service Community Schools.
- Designate $20 billion for a new “Title I Equity Grants” program to incentivize states to increase equity in their school funding systems and, using existing Title I formulas, to provide direct funding to school districts to address issues such as competitive teacher pay and access to preschool. This program would be on top of the existing $16.5 billion in Title I funding. The U.S. Department of Education also describes that funds would be allocated for states to collect and report equity-related data and implement school funding equity commissions.
- Provide $100 billion for upgrading and building new schools to address infrastructure conditions.
- Create a permanent Summer EBT meal program available to all students on free- and reduced-price lunch plans, and increase the availability and amount of meal reimbursements to schools.
- Build broadband infrastructure to reach 100% high-speed broadband coverage.
- Address climate and environmental issues, including reducing lead exposure in school and childcare facilities by eliminating lead pipes.
- Allocate $9 billion to address the teacher shortage, including doubling TEACH grant scholarships for teachers from $4,000 to $8,000 per year, $2.8 billion to support grow-your-own and residency programs, and $400 million for teacher preparation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
- Establish a $62 billion formula grant program to fund retention and completion supports for low-income students in higher education, such as childcare services and emergency basic needs grants.
- Provide $32 billion in funding toward HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs to provide two-year tuition subsidies for low- and middle-income students.
- Increase access to higher education, including $14.3 billion to fund two free years of community college, $12 billion for community college facilities and technology, and an additional $3 billion in funding to raise the maximum Pell Grant award by $400.
Here are resources to learn more about the Presidential budget proposal, including other executive branch agencies that contributed to the request:
- FY 2022 Budget Fact Sheet (provides an overview)
- FY 2022 U.S. Department of Education Budget Appendix (provides more detail about education-related spending)
- FY 2022 U.S. Department of Education Congressional Budget Justifications (provides a detailed justification for specific spending levels and recommended programmatic changes)
- FY 2022 U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of the Administration for Children and Families Congressional Budget Justification
- FY 2022 U.S. Department of Labor Congressional Budget Justification
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