Yesterday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed a fiscal year 2022 spending bill that would increase funding for the U.S. Department of Education by 41 percent compared to current funding, including a $36 billion increase for Title I and a $3.1 billion increase for special education. In response, Chip Slaven, interim CEO and Executive Director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), made the following statement:
“The House Appropriations Committee took a giant leap forward on the long path to transforming public schools and recovering from the pandemic.
“The committee’s proposed increases for Title I and special education are especially necessary given that students facing the greatest challenges were also the ones most likely to miss out on instruction when school buildings closed and learning moved online. Even today, as many as 17 million students—one third of the K-12 student population—may still lack internet access in their homes.
“As the new school year draws near, the committee’s proposed increases for education are absolutely vital to address three huge challenges facing America’s public schools and students: Repairing the past, addressing the present, and preparing for the future.
“First, school and district leaders must repair the social, emotional, mental, and academic damage the pandemic has already inflicted on students. Second, they must address present challenges, including solving teacher shortages, helping students with disabilities, expanding internet access, and planning for a safe reopening this fall. And third, they must prepare for the future by implementing lessons learned from the pandemic to transform schools to better prepare all students for success in the years ahead.
“I urge the House to pass this bill quickly so schools and school districts can address these past, present, and future needs."