Last week, President Joe Biden released his full FY2022 budget request. The full request comes approximately 6 weeks after the President released his discretionary (or “skinny”) budget request on April 9. At the time, America Forward wrote that the President’s proposal, which directed billions in new funding to non-defense discretionary priorities, represented a “potentially transformative investment in our education and workforce systems.”
As President Biden has said: “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” The President’s full budget request builds on the progress signaled in his earlier request and devotes critical new resources to a range of education and workforce priorities, reflecting a commitment to supporting an equitable recovery and addressing long-standing racial and socioeconomic inequities worsened by the pandemic. The request includes:
- $20 billion for a new Title I Equity Grants program, as part of President Biden’s commitment to dramatically increase funding for Title I schools;
- $16 billion, a $2.7 billion increase over 2021 enacted, for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants that would support special education and related services for more than 7.6 million Pre-K through 12 students;
- $1 billion for a new School-Based Health Professionals grant program to support the goal of doubling the number of counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals in schools;
- $443 million for Full-Service Community Schools, which play a critical role in providing comprehensive wrap-around services to students and their families, from afterschool, to adult education opportunities, and health and nutrition services;
- $1.31 billion for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers;
- $100 million for a new program to Foster Diverse Schools;
- Funding to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $400—the largest one-time increase since 2009—and to ensure “DREAMers,” students who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for Pell Grants;
- Providing Americans two years of free community college by partnering with states and tribes to waive tuition and fees for students, while promoting key reforms to help more students complete and help meet the demands of a growing global economy;
- $3.7 billion, a $203 million increase over the FY 2021 enacted level, for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act State Grants;
- $285 million to expand Registered Apprenticeship (RA) opportunities while increasing access for historically underrepresented groups;
- $145,000,000, an increase of $48,466,000, for YouthBuild which will fund 3,070 additional participants in the program in 2022; and,
- $1.21 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an increase of $89.2 million over FY21, to fund 62,000 total AmeriCorps slots in FY22.
Many of these investments mirror those called for by the America Forward Coalition in our FY22 appropriations letter, which you can read here. As the more than 100 members of the America Forward Coalition wrote in that letter: “As the nation continues to grapple with critical funding and programmatic needs to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and address the long-standing racial and socioeconomic inequities exacerbated by the pandemic, the America Forward Coalition is strongly supportive of Congress’ efforts to provide emergency funding to support our nation’s early childhood centers, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, national service, unemployed and underemployed workers, and children and families.
While the emergency funding will go a long way in responding to the current needs of the COVID-19 crisis, we believe that additional bold investments in federal programs are needed in order to address disruptions to learning and development, to close widening opportunity gaps for learners of all ages, and to mitigate the devastating cuts at the state and local level.”
President Biden’s full FY2022 budget is a powerful first step towards the kind of bold, sustainable investment that will build on momentum generated by the infusion of emergency funds and lead to long-term positive outcomes for students, educators, workers, families, and communities.
As Congress begins its work on its own budget proposals, we urge lawmakers to build on these critical investments and maintain a concerted focus on devoting critical resources to match the scale and scope of the challenges facing communities across the country, measuring outcomes, and targeting investments to advance equity across the country.
You can find additional information on President Biden’s budget request here for the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
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