President Joe Biden on Friday released his budget request to Congress for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, Politico reported
The full proposal includes $102.8 billion for the U.S. Education Department, which would represent a 41-percent ($29.8 billion) boost to current spending. It would also increase funding for numerous other Biden administration priorities.
The request would provide an additional $3 billion in Pell Grants, increasing the maximum award by $400 to $6,895. President Biden said the investment is a first step in a more comprehensive proposal to double the grant. The discretionary request would also make Pell Grants available to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Additionally, the administration said it "looks forward to working with the Congress on changes to the Higher Education Act of 1965" to "ease the burden of student debt, including through improvements to the Income Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs."
The budget proposal folds in Biden's infrastructure plans and calls for an additional $600 million for programs that help enroll, retain, and graduate underserved students at community colleges and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI), and other minority-serving institutions (MSI). It would also provide over $7 billion in mandatory funding in fiscal year 2022, reported Politico.
The proposal includes $12 billion over five years to improve community college facilities and build new facilities in education deserts from the American Jobs Plan.
From the American Families Plan, the budget request incorporates $123 billion over 10 years to make community college free, plus another $62 billion to close college completion gaps, according to the Education Department, and more than $80 billion over 10 years for MSIs. Additionally, it would include nearly $85 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $1,475 and make DACA recipients eligible for the award, Politico reported. In addition to the $400 boost in the budget, it would bring the maximum award to $8,370 for 2022-2023.
"We need to focus on not only recovering from the pandemic but also look towards our students' education after the pandemic to ensure there are improved resources to build our education system back better than before," said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a statement. "This budget ensures all students have access to high-quality, affordable postsecondary education, while also improving career pathways for students of all ages and levels."
The full request comes as Republican lawmakers are still negotiating an infrastructure package with the White House, Politico reported. GOP lawmakers' $928 billion counter proposal unveiled Thursday left schools out of the toplines.
President Biden's request requires congressional approval and could provide a budget blueprint for Democrats who narrowly control the House and Senate. Congressional Republicans quickly criticized the proposal, calling it an overreaching expansion of the federal government.
U.S. Education Department Press Release
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