ED Review (03/18/22)

ED Review logoHaving trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share

March 18, 2022


President signs budget bill 

On March 15, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, providing funding for the activities of the federal government for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and securing historic support for the Ukrainian people (White House fact sheet and Secretary Cardona’s statement). 

In the $1.5 trillion omnibus funding agreement is $76.4 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Education, an increase of $2.9 billion over the Fiscal Year 2021 level.  Among the highlights: $17.5 billion for Title I grants to school districts (+$1 billion), $13.3 billion for special education grants to states (+$406 million), $1.38 billion for career and technical education state grants (+$45 million), and an increase in the maximum Pell Grant by $400, to $6,895, for the 2022-23 academic year. 

Notably, among the Administration’s priorities, there is $111 million for school mental health grants (+$90 million) and $75 million for full-service community schools (+$45 million). 

The bill also includes $3 billion for higher education, with $885 million for minority-serving institutions (+$96 million) (specifically, $363 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities [HBCUs], $183 million for Hispanic-Serving Institutions [HSIs], and $44 million for Tribal Colleges and Universities [TCUs]), $1.1 billion for TRIO programs (+$40 million), and $378 million for the GEAR UP program (+$10 million).  Plus, there is $65 million for the competitive Child Care Access Means Parents in School program (+$10 million). 

“Today, we’re again showing the American people that, as a country, we can come together as Democrats, Republicans, and independents and do big things,” President Biden emphasized at the signing ceremony (remarks).  “Our democracy can deliver and outperform autocracies, and there’s nothing we can’t do when we do it together as the United States of America.” 


President in Philadelphia 

All last week, leading up to the one-year anniversary of the signing of the legislation on March 11, the Administration celebrated the impact of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) (White House fact sheet and Secretary Cardona’s statement). 

Daily-themed fact sheets:

On the actual anniversary date, President Biden and Secretary Cardona visited Luis Munoz-Marin Elementary School in Philadelphia, meeting with students who participate in afterschool programming and speaking with teachers about how they have used ARP funds over the past year (President’s tweet and Secretary’s tweet). 


Supporting HBCUs 

This week, during a White House event, Vice President Harris, Secretary Cardona, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Homeland Security Deputy Secretary John Tien announced that HBCUs that recently experienced a bomb threat resulting in a disruption to the campus learning environment are eligible to apply for federal funding under the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant program.  The Department will work with HBCUs to determine if Project SERV can help with short-term, immediate needs, such as targeted mental health resources or enhanced security.  Funding is limited, and awards typically range from $50,000 to $150,000 per school (White House fact sheet and video). 

“The recent bomb threats experienced by HBCUs have shaken students and fractured their sense of safety and belonging, which are critical to their academic success and well-being,” noted the Secretary.  “We, at the Department of Education, recognize how these threats evoke a painful history of violence against Black Americans in this country that is especially traumatizing to HBCU students, faculty, and staff.  Today’s announcement will improve access to Project SERV grants for HBCUs, as these institutions work to address students’ mental health needs, shore up campus security, and restore learning environments so they can get back to doing what they do best -- educating the next generation of great leaders.” 

The Administration is taking a whole-of-government approach to addressing repeated threats to HBCUs.  Following the first reports, Secretary Cardona and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas hosted a briefing with more than 40 presidents of HBCUs to share information about grant programs, training resources, and other tools available to strengthen campus safety and security.  Agency leaders also visited HBCUs campuses to hear first-hand about the need to modernize their operations, including campus safety and security, and the need for more resources to help bolster mental health services due to increased apprehension across the campus community.  Additionally, the Department is providing HBCUs with a compendium of resources available across the federal government.  Such resources may help with long-term improvements. 


On social media, Secretary Cardona flagged informative articles by CBS News and CNN on changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program making 100,000 borrowers eligible for forgiveness. 

Also, exciting news from Federal Student Aid (FSA) Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray: “In recent months, thousands of customers have received borrower defense (BD) loan discharges, and FSA continues to work hard to deliver the relief borrowers deserve.  In the coming months and on a rolling basis, we expect approximately 10,000 more borrowers to begin getting notices about BD discharges without having to take any further action.” 

Another key update from the Secretary: “We are working to change our policies so that bankruptcy is an option for those struggling with student debt.  To ensure that every borrower can benefit from these changes, we have asked @TheJusticeDept to request a pause of any active bankruptcy case, if the borrower wishes.” 

Meanwhile, FSA issued an Enforcement Bulletin on substantial misrepresentations by school personnel or representatives when recruiting servicemembers and veterans (Homeroom blog and Twitter thread). 

Note: StudentAid.gov/articles is a helpful one-stop shop for a wide range of federal student aid topics. 


On March 6, Secretary Cardona proudly joined Vice President Harris and several Cabinet colleagues in Selma, Alabama, to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in commemoration of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. 

Next, in recognition of International Women’s Day (March 8), the Secretary raised his “commitment to keep fighting to close the gender pay gap, end harassment & violence, and uplift the rights of women & girls in classrooms across the country.” 

Then, on March 17, the Secretary and Admiral Rachel Levine, M.D., the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, held a virtual roundtable with LGBTQI+ students and families from Florida, hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement. 

Shortly after the Florida Legislature passed the Parental Rights in Education bill, the Secretary issued a statement and elevated U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s Twitter thread on the state legislation. 

For more, see the video excerpt from the Secretary’s remarks at the South by Southwest EDU conference. 



When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, the Department of Education went straight to work delivering an unprecedented $130 billion to help schools safely reopen and welcome nearly 100% of America’s K-12 students back into the classroom for in-person learning.  We also delivered tens of billions of dollars to begin closing long-standing equity gaps in higher education and help our colleges and universities invest in COVID-19 testing and campus safety, keep tuitions stable, and provide financially struggling students with direct assistance to stay enrolled.  Today, the Department is advising state and local leaders on how they can continue leveraging American Rescue Plan funds to establish summer and afterschool programs; grow and strengthen a talented and diverse educator workforce; and invest in tutors, counselors, and other school staff who can lessen the burden on teachers and help tend to children’s social, emotional, and mental health needs.  From kindergarten to high school to college and careers, our North Star remains clear: a robust and equitable recovery that ensures every student is able to succeed and pursue their dreams.”

-- Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona (3/11/22), in a statement on the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan 


The Department’s Office of Educational Technology, in partnership with Digital Promise, is launching a series of Digital Equity Education Roundtables (DEER) to identify barriers and promising strategies related to broadband adoption. 

ED Review is a product of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Communications and Outreach, State and Local Engagement

This newsletter contains hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations.  These links are provided for the user’s convenience.  The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information.  Furthermore, the inclusion of links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered, on these sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.

You are subscribed to ED Review for U.S. Department of Education.