A huge increase in the education budget is a keystone feature of the latest spending bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The spending legislation for fiscal year 2022 was released on July 11, 2021, by a House appropriations subcommittee. Unlike previous years which have provided incremental increases for education programs, this one wants to give the U.S. Department of Education over $65 billion, an increase of over $25 billion from the the 2021 fiscal year.
This huge 60 percent increase in funding is mostly in line with what the Biden administration promised in its education budget blueprint earlier this year. Most of the money would be involved in Title 1 grants, a program intended to ensure that disadvantaged K-12 students have all of the opportunities that students in the wealthiest school districts do. States get rewarded for equalizing school budgets between districts, and grants are given directly to schools with higher numbers of under-resourced students.
The huge increase in the education budget also includes $17.2 billion for special education, an increase over over $3 billion. Money is also apportioned for English-language learners, ADA students, professional development for educators, community schools, and after-school services.
“This bill touches people at every stage of their lives, and the massive funding increase will create a society that provides people with the help they so desperately need,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). DeLauro is the chairwoman of the House appropriations committee.
The legislation was recommended by the House subcommittee on Monday, and will be discussed on the floor over the coming weeks. It faces a voting pool split 50/50 between Democrats (largely but not entirely for the measure), and Republicans (vocally against the measure).
Notably missing from the legislation are a few of Biden’s promises, including “equity grants” to go directly to teachers of underserved students, and money earmarked to increase teacher pay and support staff for students.
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