Education is the key to unlocking opportunities in life, which is why people from all walks of life strive to attain it. The current administration appreciates this fact, so it has proposed a series of changes through the US budget for education to improve access to universal education. Biden’s administration recognizes that building a strong foundation for a person’s education journey is critical for their overall success. As a result, the bill places a great deal of emphasis on K-12 schools.
What’s New in the Bill?
The new US budget for education contains policy measures that are completely different from the current ones, including the following.
1. The Expansion of Access to Early Childhood Education
Biden has recognized the importance of education in making the US a better place for all. Though prior regimes invested in education by making the first twelve years of education universal, it simply isn’t enough. Other countries are catching up, and Americans with only a dozen years of education are losing their competitive advantage.
This has prompted the Biden administration to commit to funding preschool programs to a tune of $200 billion. A study established that children who have access to preschool education have a higher chance of enrolling in an honors class. These children are also less likely to repeat a grade as they progress to higher levels of study. The universal preschool program targets all three- and four-year-old kids, and it aims to prepare them to be more successful in K-12.
2. Federal Relief Funding for K-12 Public Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on K-12 public schools and their learners. This is why Biden’s new US budget for education has a provision for channeling $126 billion to all K-12 schools, to assist them in recovering from the adverse effects of the pandemic.
K-12 public schools are at liberty to use this funding to cover the health-related costs of running these institutions safely. For instance, K-12 schools can use part of their funding to vaccinate students and their staff members. They are also expected to invest in community outreach programs that encourage students to return to schools. All K-12 heads need to familiarize themselves with the federal guidelines for using this funding.
3. Restoration of the Civil Rights Guidance Measures
The new bill will restore the civil rights and guidance measures that the Trump administration had revoked. The guidance measures intend to foster equity in all schools regardless of a learner’s background. This will be possible by reducing disciplinary actions that force learners out of school, such as expulsion. Instead, the bill urges schools to use alternative disciplinary actions.
Besides fostering equity, the civil rights guidance measures will also protect the rights of vulnerable learners. For example, it gives learners who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to choose which washroom to use. It also tightens the investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct emanating from K-12 and other institutions, to protect learners.
4. Additional Infrastructure Funding
The bill noted that most schools are still dependent on infrastructure built decades, if not centuries, ago. It also observed that most schools cannot keep up and incorporate the advancement of technology in their curriculum because they don’t have the requisite infrastructure.
K-12 institutions will therefore get extra funding to help them improve and modernize their infrastructure. The federal government expects the management of schools to channel a substantial amount of the funding toward incorporating IT in their learners’ curricula.
5. Additional Funding for the Nutrition Program
Many learners relied on free meals or meals at subsidized costs to get the nutrition that they needed for growth and learning before the pandemic. The closure of schools put most of these students in a hard situation.
The new US budget for education will increase the funding for the nutrition programs for all schools. It will also increase the number of K-12 schools that are eligible for this program. The management of these schools needs to plan how they will roll out the program efficiently in advance.
Schools That Stand to Benefit from the US Budget for Education
The US budget for education intends to improve the quality of education in the whole country holistically. K-12 schools stand to benefit more from this program, especially Title 1 schools and IDEA schools.
Partner with ScholarChip to Plan Improvement with the New Fund
The US budget for education will increase the number of resources available to schools. K-12 schools will need to audit all their facilities once they can access the funding. This will help them identify the pertinent areas that they can improve on following the provisions of the bill.
ScholarChip has all the tools that will make K-12 safer, more inclusive, and engaging for the benefit of the students. A partnership can help your school make drastic improvements with the additional funding.
The ScholarChip team is dedicated to helping school leaders maximize the safety and well-being of students and the entire school community.
Want to talk more about creating an actionable plan for these funds to help close the learning loss and make reopening effective and safe? Feel free to chat with one of our specialists today!