What are the top priorities in Joe Biden’s 2024 plan for education spending?

The budget proposal's outlook is dim in the face of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a sharply divided Congress.

Big bucks could be headed toward academic acceleration, special ed and Title I schools in the 2024 education budget just unveiled by President Joe Biden’s administration.

Increases are also in the works for universal preschool, career preparation programs, mental health care, and replenishing and diversifying the teacher pipeline, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a conference call Thursday.

The budget proposal’s outlook, of course, may be dim in the face of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a sharply divided Congress. “We cannot scale back our expectations for the education of our children,” Cardona said on the call. “Nothing unites America’s families more than the hopes we share for our children.”

The education budget also targets global competitiveness by expanding multilingual learning, redesigning high schools with multiple pathways to college and career, and reinvigorating the push for free community college, Cardona added.

More from DA: How one state is putting the lid on student misbehavior by empowering teachers 

“This budget request is a major step to address the critical issues facing our schools today, including the student mental health crisis and growing national school leader and educator shortages,” Ronn Nozoe, CEO of the National Association of Secondary School Principals said in a statement. “School leaders have been burning the candle at both ends to support students’ academic and social development, and it’s great to see that President Biden has their backs.”

The Biden-Harris administration intends for the spending proposals to pay for themselves with a tax increase on the wealthy and big corporations that will also reduce the national deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade.

Education budget specifics

Here’s a rundown of the key targets of the proposed K12 spending increases:

  • $20.5 billion for Title I to close opportunity and achievement gaps. The $2.2 billion increase is meant to help education leaders sustain programs that are supporting academic recovery from the COVID pandemic.
  • Preschool: New $500 million demonstration program for districts to expand public preschool in schools and community-based settings, including Head Start.
  • Special education: $2.7 billion increase for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act programs, including the following additional spending: $2.1 billion for Part B grants to states and preschool programs; $392 million for Part C grants to expand early intervention services for underserved children; $150 million in grants to recruit and retain special education personnel; and $20 million to improve outcomes for military-connected children with disabilities.
  • Teacher shortages: Invests $3 billion in educator preparation, development and leadership, including $30 million in Hawkins and $132 million in Teacher Quality Partnerships to build a diverse and prepared teacher pipeline.
  • Leadership: $200 million to support school-based models of distributed leadership, and $303 million to address shortages of special education teachers.
  • Mental health: $428 million to increase the number of school-based counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals to meet the mental health needs of our students, school staff and teachers.
  • Equal access: $177.6 million (a $37.6 million increase) for the Office for Civil Rights to protect equal access to education through the enforcement of civil rights laws.
  • Community schools: $368 million to expand full-service community schools that provide integrated support for students and their families.
  • English learners: $1.2 billion for research-based and effective bilingual education and language instruction programs under Title III.
  • CTE: $1.47 billion for career and technical education state grants, an increase of $43 million, and a $200 million investment to re-design high schools around career and college pathways.
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

Most Popular