Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $44 Million to Improve Postsecondary Education Access and Completion for Rural Students  

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced more than $44.5 million for 22 grants under the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development (RPED) program to improve rates of postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion among rural students through the development of high-quality career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region. 

“Rural communities face unique challenges in educating, training, and developing high-skill workers—yet they are also home to students with unique skills and potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These dedicated funds will ensure that students in rural areas have access to postsecondary credentials and other resources that lead to high-quality career pathways and economic success.”  

U.S. Department of Education Issues Information Request on Approaches to Extend PSLF to Early Childhood Educators

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to help the Department better understand operational aspects of potentially expanding Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for workers in early childhood education (ECE) settings.  
“Early childhood educators help young children learn, grow, and thrive. But they are often poorly compensated, and student debt is a problem. If these educators can access Public Service Loan Forgiveness, we can help our youngest children, their families, and their communities,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal. 

U.S. Department of Education Hosts Regional Convenings to Spur Action by States to Eliminate Educator Shortages

On June 13-14, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) held the second of three Regional Convenings to Support State Action to Advance the Education Professions in Chicago with a focus on Midwest to Northeastern states. AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., CAE, was in attendance and presented at the Chicago meeting on June 13. 

The three convenings are bringing together key leaders from across over 25 states, D.C., and American Samoa in cross-sector state leadership teams to learn from each other about effective efforts by states to increase educator compensation, expand access to high-quality and affordable pathways into the education professions, and increase educator diversity. The opening remarks featured the Department’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Roberto J. Rodriguez, and Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Sanders, Ed.D. The opening remarks and session featured leadership from The Hunt Institute and 

Secretary Cardona Outlines Steps to Modernizing the Office of Federal Student Aid

The following message was posted today on the Education Department’s Homeroom blog.

In a letter sent to all staff today, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlined comprehensive steps the Department is taking to improve Federal Student Aid (FSA) for students, families, borrowers, and schools. These efforts will ensure FSA works better and addresses ongoing management and operational challenges. Specifically, the Department is taking the following steps:

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Additional $7.7 Billion in Approved Student Debt Relief for 160,000 Borrowers 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of $7.7 billion in additional student loan debt relief for 160,500 borrowers. These discharges are for three categories of borrowers: 

  • those receiving Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF);  
  • those who signed up for President Biden’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan and who are eligible for its shortened time-to-forgiveness benefit; and  
  • those receiving forgiveness on income-driven repayment (IDR) as a result of fixes made by the Administration. This action comes as more than 8 million borrowers have been helped by the SAVE Plan. That includes 4.6 million with a $0 monthly payment. 

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) also announced an update on the timing of the payment count adjustment. This administrative fix ensures borrowers get credit for progress borrowers made toward IDR forgiveness and PSLF. Borrowers who would benefit from consolidating now have until June 30, 2024, to apply to consolidate. Learn more about the payment count adjustment. 

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Record Over $16 Billion in Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a new record in federal funding and investments in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) totaling more than $16 billion from fiscal years (FY) 2021 through current available data for FY 2024. This new reported total is up from the previously announced over $7 billion, and captures significant additional actions already undertaken.  The total of more than $16 billion includes over $11.4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 through federal grants, contracting awards, and debt relief for HBCUs; over $4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 for HBCU-enrolled students through federal financial aid and educational benefits for veterans; and, so far in FY 2024, over $900 million has been secured for Department of Education (Department) programs strengthening HBCUs as institutions.  

U. S. Department of Education Announces New Actions to Increase Access to School-Based Mental Health Services

The Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions to increase access to school-based mental health services, including (1) nearly doubling investments in the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) and Mental Health Service Professionals (MHSP) grant programs in the current Fiscal Year; (2) making additional investments through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and educators; and (3) offering new mental health and wellbeing trainings and resources for schools and educators.  

“Today’s announcements affirm the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to tackling our youth mental health crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We know students are more likely to access mental health support if it’s offered in schools. By nearly doubling funds this year for school-based mental health professionals, releasing additional funds to help advance a variety of mental health strategies, and providing additional training and resources, we are raising the bar for student wellbeing across the country.”  

Biden-Harris Administration Releases New Data on Public Service Loan Forgiveness Approvals in Every Congressional District 

The Biden-Harris Administration released new data showing the breakdown of borrowers approved for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) by the Congressional District. The data showcase how every district across the country has borrowers who are part of the 876,000 individuals who have been approved for $62.8 billion in relief through this program. By contrast, at the start of this Administration, only 7,000 had been approved for PSLF.  

The approvals contained in the data are representative of the Administration’s unceasing efforts to fix the broken student loan system and restore the promise of discharge programs. The Administration has helped fix longstanding problems with PSLF through the limited PSLF waiver, while the payment count adjustment has also ensured that borrowers get accurate counts of progress toward forgiveness. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education (Education) also implemented new regulations designed to make it easier for borrowers to qualify for PSLF. 

Biden-Harris Administration to Create New National Recognition Program for Institutions that Increase Economic Mobility 

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced at the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) Attaining College Excellence and Equity Summit the release of a Request for Information (RFI) to develop a new Postsecondary Student Success Recognition Program that will uplift institutions of higher education that support all students to complete affordable credentials of value that prepare them for success. Members of the public will have 30 days to submit suggestions to the Department about this new annual recognition program. 

“Imagine a world where schools with the most Pell Grant recipients are ranked highest in U.S. News and World Report, where ‘prestige’ is defined by preparing graduates well to enter the workforce and lead fulfilling lives and careers—sometimes right in their own communities. Imagine universities raising the bar for access and equity becoming household names. This award seeks to make that world possible,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today in his remarks. “Instead of giving schools high marks for the number of students they turn down, we want to recognize schools doing the most to lift students up.”  

U.S. Department of Education Releases Final Title IX Regulations, Providing Vital Protections Against Sex Discrimination 

For more than 50 years, Title IX has paved the way for tremendous strides in access to education for millions of students across the country. Every student deserves educational opportunity free from discrimination. That is why today the U.S. Department of Education (Department) released its Final Rule under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. The final regulations promote educational equity and opportunity for students across the country as well as accountability and fairness, while empowering and supporting students and families. 

“For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.” 

Lunch with Lynn to Examine Advocacy, Education Policy

Advocacy is pivotal in educator preparation programs, uniting deans, faculty, and students in a shared mission of advancing teacher education. By advocating for policies and practices that prioritize excellence, equity, and innovation in teacher preparation, AACTE members contribute to a brighter future for education — and the future of the nation’s students.

AACTE will highlight these values on Tuesday, April 30, at 1:00 p.m. EST during Lunch with Lynn, where AACTE President & CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., CAE, will explore the topic of advocacy with guests Michael Yudin of the Raben Group and 2024 AACTE David E. Imig Award winner and former AACTE senior vice president, Jane E. West, Ph.D.

Department of Education Seeking Peer Reviews for TQP Grant Competition

The U.S. Department of Education (Department), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Effective Educator Development (EED) Division is seeking peer reviewers for the upcoming Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant competition. This program seeks to improve the quality of teachers, principals, and other school leaders nationwide.

WHO: The Department is seeking peer reviewers from various professions and backgrounds to independently read, score, and provide timely, well-written comments for EED grant applications submitted to the Department. The most qualified reviewers will have education-related backgrounds and experience in most, if not all, of the following areas:

U.S. Department of Education Launches Government Coordinating Council to Strengthen Cybersecurity in Schools 

The U.S. Department of Education (Department), in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), launched the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) for the Education Facilities Subsector, a pivotal step forward in the national effort to enhance cybersecurity across K-12 educational institutions. This new council signifies an unprecedented level of collaboration between federal, state, tribal, and local governments to protect schools from cybersecurity threats. The Education Facilities Subsector is part of the Government Facilities Sector, one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors defined in Presidential Policy Directive 21. 

In recent years, the PK-12 cybersecurity landscape has become increasingly complex, with school districts across the country experiencing ransomware attacks that shut down schools and data breaches that expose sensitive health, financial, and educational data on students, families, and staff. The formation of the GCC is a direct response to these challenges, aiming to foster a more resilient and secure K-12 digital infrastructure through structured dialogue and shared best practices. 

Biden-Harris Administration Approves Additional $5.8 Billion in Student Debt Relief for 78,000 Public Service Workers

President Biden will email an additional 380,000 public service workers thanking them for their service and notifying them they are on track to have their debt cancelled through PSLF within two years 

The Biden-Harris Administration announced the approval of $5.8 billion in additional student loan debt relief for 77,700 borrowers. These approvals are the result of fixes made by the Administration to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Today’s announcement brings the total loan forgiveness approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to $143.6 billion for 3.96 million Americans. This action builds on President Biden and his Administration’s efforts to provide debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible. 

“For too long, our nation’s teachers, nurses, social workers, firefighters, and other public servants faced logistical troubles and trap doors when they tried to access the debt relief they were entitled to under the law. With this announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration is showing how we’re taking further steps not only to fix those trap doors, but also to expand opportunity to many more Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Today, more than 100 times more borrowers are eligible for PSLF than there were at the beginning of the Administration. The Biden Administration is turning a promise broken under our predecessor into a promise kept.” 

AACTE Statement on President Biden’s FY 2025 Budget

On behalf of AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., issued the following statement today regarding President Biden’s FY 2025 budget investments: 

“AACTE and its member colleges and universities applaud President Biden’s commitment to ensuring that all children benefit from well-prepared, fully qualified teachers,” Gangone said. “We look forward to working with Congress to enact this funding, which will support innovative educator preparation models that are resulting in increased enrollment in educator preparation programs across the country.”