Education Front and Center in First Days of Biden Administration
Shortly after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden got to work issuing executive orders, memorandums, and proclamations surrounding several policy areas, including immigration, climate change, and education.
These actions were anticipated and align with a specific policy agenda touted on the campaign trail and during the transition period to his presidency. Actions of note to date include:
- A pausing federal student loan interest and principal payments through “at least” September 30.
- Reversal of an existing executive order that excludes undocumented immigrants from the census reapportionment could, which is used when considering formula funding for programs such as Title I.
- A directive to track school closures and re-openings related to the pandemic, to be led jointly by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to “understand the impact of closures on students from families with low-incomes, students of color, English-language learners, students with disabilities and others” and establish a Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse.
- Allowance of Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to be used for costs associated with personal protective equipment needed in schools.
- The naming of Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel coined the phrase the “homework gap” to describe the digital divide that impacts students. She has been actively pushing for major investments in broadband to level the playing field during remote schooling, working in concert with an ad-hoc Homework Gap coalition, of which CEC is a member.
More action in expected in the coming weeks as the Administration solidifies, including more nominations and appointments to key positions and the confirmation hearing for Education Secretary nominee Dr. Miguel Cardona.