On July 12, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved its fiscal year (FY) 2022 bill, which allocates $102.8 billion for the Department of Education, a 41 percent increase over the agency’s current funding that mirrors President Biden’s budget request. The bill also provides $49 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $6.5 billion above the FY21 enacted level. Of the NIH funding, $3 billion would establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health and provide an increase of $3.5 billion for the agency’s core funding.
The legislation would administer $3.43 billion for higher education programs, an increase of $889 million and $122 million above President Biden’s request. Among the key funding numbers, minority-serving institutions would receive $1.13 billion, a boost of $345 million over the enacted level; Federal Student Aid programs would receive $27.2 billion, a $2.64 billion increase, and the Pell Grant would receive a $400 boost, bringing the maximum award up to $6,895, the largest one-time increase to the program since 2009. Other notable provisions include the creation of a new pilot program, the Basic Needs Grant for college students to use on housing; food; transportation; and access to physical and mental health, and expanded eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to access Pell Grants and other student financial assistance, including federal student loans. The full bill text is available here. On July 15, the full Committee is scheduled to consider the bill. On July 14, CGS joined a community letter in support of this appropriations legislation.
On July 12, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies approved its FY22 funding bill, which totals $81.6 billion, an increase of $10.2 billion or 14 percent above the enacted level. Themes of confronting the climate crisis are interwoven throughout the legislation, which includes significant funding for climate resilience and research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The bill would provide $25.04 billion for NASA, $1.77 billion above the FY21 enacted level, with $147 million designated for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement, an increase of $20 million above the enacted level, with the intent of strengthening the STEM pipeline.
NSF would receive $9.63 billion, an increase of $1.15 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level, to foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for climate science and sustainable research, as well as research on artificial intelligence, quantum information science, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, among other critical areas. Among the other notable provisions, Research and Related Activities would receive $7.7 billion, an increase of $785.97 million above the FY21 enacted level; and Education and Human Resources would receive $1.27 billion, an increase of $306.3 million above the enacted level, to help broaden participation in STEM research and STEM careers among underrepresented populations. A summary of the bill is available here. On July 15, the full Committee is scheduled to consider the bill.
On July 13, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY22 Homeland Security funding bill by vote of 33-24. Among the funding allocations, the bill includes $474.5 million for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an increase of $346.7 million over the FY21 level and $830.4 million for Science and Technology (S&T), an increase of $64.8 million above the FY21 enacted level and $7.5 million above the President’s request. Of the S&T funding, $45.8 million would go to University Centers of Excellence, an increase of $6.5 million above the enacted level and equal to the President’s request; and $7.7 million would be set aside for the Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Program, an increase of $2.5 million above the enacted level. The legislation also provides updates to policies on visas, including issuance of certain visas blocked by policies enacted during the Trump administration. Summaries of the amendments and the bill are available here. All CGS resources and requests for FY22 appropriations funding are available here.
Department of Education Student Aid Office Announces Appointments and Verification Changes
On July 13, the department announced temporary changes to the federal aid verification process for the 2021-2022 award year. Aid verification for the 2021-2022 application cycle will focus on identity theft and fraud. Originally, aid verification was required for a subset of Pell Grant recipients, a process that disproportionality burdens students from low-income backgrounds and resulted in barriers that prevented students from completing the process to receive their funds. Removing the barrier of this verification process for many aid recipients will likely relieve some of the enrollment declines higher education institutions are experiencing due to the pandemic and economic crises effecting Americans.
CGS Concludes the 2021 Virtual Summer Workshop
NSF Continues Commitment to Fund Research and Increase Diversity in the Sciences
Senate Committee Holds Hearing for Department of Education Nominees
During Mr. Rodríguez’s testimony, he identified the effective implementation of the American Rescue Plan and addressed the need for increased support for mental health services and broadband infrastructure. During a line of questioning by Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) on closing racial gaps in education, Rodríguez outlined initiatives he would implement if confirmed, including increased support for Hispanic Serving Institutions; strengthening the pipeline for educators of color; and increasing training opportunities for workforce preparedness.