As students continue to need educational and emotional support and while educators need ongoing professional development and support, BellXcel is pleased to see the investment Congress has made across the board to educational programs in the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Bill. These programs provide safe places for underserved students to engage in a plethora of diverse learning experiences including STEM, music and the arts, social and emotional learning, and physical education.
Programs supported by BellXcel are positioned for success because they understand the needs of the students and provide ongoing embedded high-quality professional development for educators. We are thankful to Congress for investing in professional development for educators as well as programs designed to increase the availability of mental health services in schools. Our hope is to see these resources extended to the afterschool and summer programs, as students and educators in the out of school time community also need support from these critical professionals.
Below are the funding highlights included in the final omnibus:
- $17.5 billion, an increase of $1 billion more than the fiscal year 2021 level, for the Title I-A grants to local educational agencies program. This is the largest increase in the program in more than a decade. Title I-A grants assist more than half of our Nation’s public schools in their efforts to raise student achievement, particularly for students attending high- poverty schools to meet college and career-ready state academic standards, including through preschool programs for eligible children.
- $433 million—$14.2 billion in all—for special education state grant programs that support services to nearly 9 million students and children with a disability.
- $1.28 billion, a $60 million increase for Title IV-A, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program, which provides investments in safe and healthy students, well-rounded education, and effective use of educational technology.
- $75 million support for Full Service Community Schools, a proven approach that includes integrated student supports and family engagement that lead to improved student attendance and high school graduation rates
- $1.29 billion, an increase of $30 million, for 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which supports more than 10,000 centers around the nation serving 1.6 million students;
- $114 million, an increase of $7.5 million, for Education for Homeless Children and Youth, to assist the more than 1.4 million identified students experiencing homeless enroll and succeed in school.
- $15 million, an increase of $2.5 million more than last year, for Statewide Family Engagement Centers that promote parent and family engagement in schools.
- $111 million, an increase of $90 million more than last year, for Department of Education programs designed to increase the availability of mental health services in schools, including by expanding training programs to prepare new school counselors, social workers and psychologists.