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Blunt-Led Bill Targets Funding for Education Programs that Support Students at Every Stage

Includes Key Investments to Increase Access to Childcare and Help Schools Address Pandemic-Related Learning Loss

March 09, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), today announced that the FY2022 Labor/HHS appropriations bill includes several critical investments in high-quality early childhood care and education, elementary and secondary education programs, and higher education. The bill is expected to be considered by the full Senate later this week.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on students’ education and mental health,” said Blunt. “With students facing several months of learning loss in key subjects like math and reading, and historically underserved groups falling even further behind, the investments in this bill are more important than ever. The bill continues to address one of the greatest challenges we’ve seen during the pandemic by increasing funding for Head Start and child care, building on the more than doubling of funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant in recent years. Second, it prioritizes programs that provide the most flexibility to families, schools, and local school districts to decide how to best use limited resources. Finally, this year’s bill continues to support the full range of pathways to college and to well-paying careers. This includes investments in career and technical education, in an initiative to improve post-secondary outcomes for students in rural areas, and to increase the maximum Pell Grant award for the fifth year in a row.”

Early Childhood Care and Education:

• Head Start: $11 billion, an increase of $289 million, to help all Head Start programs keep up with rising costs, maintain enrollment, and continue to provide high-quality services for children and families. Missouri Head Start programs receive more than $174 million annually and provide high-quality early childhood services to almost 15,000 children and their families.

• Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $6.2 billion, an increase of $254 million. Over the last four years, funding for CCDBG has more than doubled, which has helped improve the safety and quality of child care programs, including increasing provider payment rates, and expand working families’ access to high-quality child care. Missouri receives over $104 million from the CCDBG annually.

Elementary and Secondary Education:

• Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies: $17.5 billion, an increase of $1 billion, for grants to school districts to help all children meet challenging state academic standards. Missouri received approximately $261 million in Title I funding for this school year to support schools with a significant number or percentage of low-income students.

• Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): $14.5 billion, an increase of $448 million, to support the educational needs of students with disabilities, which includes an increase of $11.9 million for preschool grants and an increase of $14.5 million for grants for infants and families. Missouri received approximately $319 million from these programs for this school year.

• Impact Aid: $1.6 billion, an increase of $56 million. Missouri school districts receive approximately $16 million to help compensate for the presence of federal activities and land, including lost revenue.

• STEM and Computer Science Education: $82 million, an increase of $15 million, in targeted STEM education funding.

• 21st Century Community Learning Centers: $1.3 billion, an increase of $30 million, for before- and after-school programs.

• Career and Technical Education State Grants: $1.38 billion, an increase of $45 million. Missouri received approximately $26 million to support CTE programs across the state this school year.

• Charter Schools Program: $440 million, the same as the FY2021 level, to help support the creation, replication, and expansion of high-quality charter schools.

• School-Based Mental Health: $111 million, an increase of $90 million, to increase the number of qualified mental health professionals in K-12 schools.

Higher Education:

• Pell Grants: For the fifth year in a row, the bill increases the maximum Pell Grant award, an increase of $400, or 6.2%, for the 2022-23 school year, from $6,495 to $6,895. Approximately 105,000 students receive almost $423 million in Pell Grant funding to attend Missouri colleges and universities. The bill continues support for year-round Pell Grants, which help students complete post-secondary education programs faster and enter or re-enter the workforce sooner.

• Career Pathways: The bill continues to provide $15 million for a youth career pathways demonstration program at the Department of Labor to improve workforce readiness, employment and training opportunities, and provide early exposure to multiple career pathways.

• Rural Postsecondary Education and Economic Development Program: The bill includes $20 million, an increase of $10 million, to continue an initiative to improve postsecondary access and completion among rural students by providing services for students from middle school through college, and promoting partnerships between school districts, institutions of higher education, and regional economic development organizations. 

• Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grants: The bill provides $50 million, an increase of $5 million, to better align post-secondary education with workforce development needs for in-demand industries.

• Campus-Based Student Aid Programs: The bill includes an increase of $20 million for Federal Work Study and $15 million for Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

• TRIO: The bill includes $1.1 billion, an increase of $40 million, to help low-income and first generation students get into college and succeed when they are there.

• Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSI): Includes an increase of $96 million for programs specifically targeted at strengthening HBCUs and MSIs.

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