POLICY & ADVOCACY
April 29th, 2021
What is Included in President Biden’s American Families Plan for Education?
On April 28th, President Biden announced the American Families Plan, a $1.9 trillion plan, which includes significant investments in education from early childhood to postsecondary education. Under this proposal, students with disabilities would benefit from expanded access to free, public education from as early as age 3.
Here are some of the highlights of the American Families Plan:
$20 Billion for Free, Universal Pre-K
If fully implemented, this investment would benefit about 5 million children and save the average family $13,000. The plan would ensure that publicly funded programs are inclusive, high quality, and have low student-to-teacher ratios.
NCLD’s research highlights the importance of early and universal screening for learning difficulties. This significant expansion in early childhood education can enable the academic, social-emotional, and economic benefits of early screening for students with learning and attention issues.
$109 Billion for Free Community College and other Postsecondary Education Investments
The pandemic has seen a steep decline in college enrollment, especially for low-income students and students of color. This investment could benefit up to 5.5 million students, including DREAMers.
The plan also includes $85 billion for expanding Pell Grants, which increases the maximum award by about $1400 to support the nearly 7 million students who rely on the Pell Grant to pay for college.
An additional $62 billion grant program would provide colleges funding to adopt wraparound services for student success to increase retention and completion rates. These include services for child care, mental health services, recruitment and retention practices for faculty diversity, transfer agreements between colleges, and evidence-based remediation programs. These types of programs would have a positive impact on college success for all students.
Finally, the plan includes investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). A new $39 billion program will provide two years of subsidized tuition to HBCUs, TCUs, or MSIs for students from families earning less than $125,000. Biden’s plan also allocates $400 million for teacher preparation at these higher education institutions to improve racial diversity in the teacher workforce and strengthen the pipeline for educators of color.
Investments in Educator Preparation and Leadership
Biden proposes doubling scholarships for pre-service teachers, $2.8 billion for Grow Your Own teacher programs and paid teacher residency programs, and $900 million for the development of special education teachers. The plan also includes $1.6 billion to provide current educators the opportunity to obtain certifications in special education and bilingual education, which can support over 100,000 educators. Finally, President Biden proposes $2 billion for teacher support programs such as high-quality mentorship programs.
NCLD looks forward to working with the 117th Congress to pass the American Families Plan as a long-term commitment to our nation’s children by expanding free, public education and closing equity gaps. Read NCLD’s response to the American Families Plan here.
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