Democratic-led Congress provides meager increase to education funding in 2022 budget:

On March 15, President Biden signed a $ 1.5 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2022 that provides only the most meager increases in education funding. In doing so, he broke campaign promises to provide significant increases for public schools, especially in working class communities.

A masked student waits before the bell at Enrique S. Camarena Elementary School, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Chula Vista, Calif. (AP Photo / Denis Poroy)

The new spending bill, which funds the federal government until September 30 of this year, exposes yet again the false pretensions of the Democratic Party to being the party of working people. More funding was allocated to the military ($ 782 billion) than all other discretionary programs combined ($ 730 billion). While the Democratic-led Congress significantly slashed Biden’s initial proposal for education spending, it added $ 37 billion to the military budget above and beyond the amount included in Biden’s budget plan.

Biden’s support for the final budget underscores the cynicism of his much-touted education funding increases from day one of his election campaign and initial budget plan. The teachers unions, in isolating and selling out waves of strikes by US educators over the past several years, justified their betrayals by telling educators to pursue their demands “at the ballot box,” by electing Democrats to the White House and Congress. In this, they have been backed by pseudo-left organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America.

The Department of Education will receive $ 76.4 billion — less than 10 percent of the Pentagon budget. The Title I program, which supplements state and local education funding for low-income students, gets a mere $ 1 billion increase, to $ 17.5 billion.

Among other provisions, Title I provides access to more rigorous instruction, expands access to high-quality preschool, and increases the pay of teachers in low-income schools. Currently, about 25 million children, representing more than half of all school-aged kids, are covered by some Title I funds. In the new budget, this works out to a paltry $ 700 per Title I-eligible student.

As a candidate, Biden had promised to triple Title I funding. In a July 3, 2020 town hall with the National Education Association, he said he would use the increased funds “to close that gap between the rich and the poor” and “root out” inequities in the education system.

In his proposed 2022 fiscal year budget, Biden had called for a $ 20 billion increase to Title I. The Democrats, by an unanimous vote in the Senate, agreed to the $ 1 billion figure (an increase of $ 40 per student qualifying for Title I).

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