On Wednesday, May 11, the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a hearing on the Biden Administration’s fiscal year 2024 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona was the sole witness for the hearing. Although the hearing focused primarily on elementary and secondary education, subcommittee members mentioned the importance of in investing in higher education as well as student loan repayment. Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patty Murray (D-WA) said in a statement, “If we want to keep on the cutting edge of discovery—we have to support the next generation of researchers—we have to light that spark of curiosity and invest in higher education institutions that help it burn bright. If we want to have a strong workforce—we have to make sure everyone can pursue a high-quality education and career training opportunities.”
In Secretary Cardona’s testimony, he mentioned provisions in the fiscal year 2024 budget proposal that would benefit graduate education and graduate students. First, he mentioned providing $150 million for a new School and Campus-Based Mental Health Service program to develop strategies to address student mental health needs and build the pipeline of mental health professionals, who predominately need a graduate degree. Secretary Cardona also mentioned a $20 million increase to institutions providing affordable childcare for student parents with low income through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program and increases to Federal TRIO programs, including the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which prepares underserved undergraduate students for doctoral study. Secretary Cardona’s full testimony can be found here.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee is scheduled to have a hearing on May 16 regarding the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary Cardona will testify at that hearing. Please visit the CGS Budget and Appropriations page for more information on the president’s annual budget request to Congress and funding for programs impacting graduate education.