Secretary Cardona Appears Before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
This week, Secretary Cardona testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to discuss the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Considering the recent shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, a spotlight was shone on honoring victims and much of the discussion was around school safety. In her opening remarks, Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) remarked that “we cannot fix this by asking teachers to become soldiers.” Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) clarified that while there is a link between mental health and gun violence, people with mental health challenges are more likely to be victims of violence. During questioning, Blunt inquired about the shortage of school-based mental health professionals. Cardona noted that while there has been an increase in hiring of school counselors and social workers, a persistent shortage remains, and particularly with school psychologists. He emphasized the need for sustained investments through annual appropriations to support these professionals. Additional topics ranged from student loan forgiveness to school infrastructure. The subcommittee will consider Cardona’s testimony and the budget proposal as they draft a FY 2023 spending bill that includes funding for ED.
To view the hearing, go here.