Press Release

Statement from Denise Forte, interim CEO of The Education Trust, on the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON (March 10, 2022) — “Ed Trust is pleased to see a final deal advance that would increase funding for vital educational programs, especially those that make our system more equitable and lower persistent education barriers for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

We welcome an additional $1 billion investment in Title I schools and an increase in the maximum award of the Pell Grant program up to $6,895, which are the largest increases each program has seen in at least a decade. The bill also increases funding for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs), the CCAMPIS program, which supports on-campus child care, and dedicates funding to the renewed call for a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health. The bill also includes new funding for priorities like the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence, which support diverse educator candidates at HBCUs and MSIs, and for evidence-based student success programs that increase college completion. Finally, this agreement also recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of the whole child through increased funding for wraparound supports provided by Full Service Community Schools and increased investments in student mental health.

However, we are disappointed that the omnibus does not include the extension of critical child nutrition waivers that have allowed millions of students to receive healthy meals during the pandemic. Schools and community meal providers are facing severe constraints and the current waivers are crucial to their continued operations. If the waivers are not extended through the 2022-2023 school year, we are likely to see an increase in hunger for millions of students.

Looking ahead, The Education Trust will continue advocating for additional investments in the programs listed above and many others, including doubling the Pell Grant, creating a path for public debt-free college, and increasing investments in Title I. The Education Trust urges Congress to amend this package to ensure the nutrition waivers are extended through the 2022-23 school year, and then send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”