House Appropriations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Education Budget
On Thursday, May 6, 2021, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified at a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) hearing on the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget request from the Biden Administration.
This was in reference to the skinny FY22 discretionary budget request that the White House shared in April, but the hearing also made mention of the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. A full budget request is expected in the coming weeks.
In his opening statement, Secretary Cardona named the importance of CTE, as well as plans to address the full education continuum from early childhood to postsecondary education. Regarding the postsecondary level, Secretary Cardona emphasized the need to make higher education affordable and accessible for each student. He also highlighted investments in Pell Grants, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), as well as programs such as TRIO and GEAR UP.
Throughout the hearing, Secretary Cardona reiterated that the education system needs to evolve to meet the needs of learners, and not the other way around. Representative Josh Harder (D-CA) used his time to speak about the impact of CTE programs, the need to expand Pell Grant eligibility and funding streams for high-quality short-term programs and the importance of early exposure CTE and workplace skills. In response, Secretary Cardona agreed with the value of CTE and the need to give learners options early on, as well as recognizing that learning also happens outside of a classroom. He also said that he is interested in getting more perspective on funding for short-term programs.
Other common themes of the hearing were reopening schools, social and emotional learning, civics education, charter schools, teacher shortages and meeting the needs of communities who are traditionally underserved.