Every year, in order to inform the U.S. Congress of the presidential administration’s priorities, the White House releases a proposed budget for the next fiscal year (FY). The U.S. Congress is the legislative body that creates the federal law that designates the amount of funding available for the federal government and can confirm or ignore the White House’s proposed budget.
The Biden administration released its first budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year. The FY2022 budget proposal includes funding for the 2022-2023 school year. While there is no guarantee that Congress will agree with the Biden administration’s recommendation, it is important to note that the FY2022 proposed budget includes a $29.8 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Education overall. Included in that increase is a $20 billion increase in Title I funds, raising the proposed Title I budget up to $36.5 billion.
It will be essential to watch what the U.S. Congress includes in the FY2022 Appropriations Bill. If Congress is aligned with the Biden administration’s proposal and includes a significant increase in Title I funds, it could help reduce worries that States and districts have about using their ESSER funds (the one-time COVID-19 relief funding for K-12 education) to make purchases that include recurring costs.
States and districts are sometimes hesitant to make purchases with recurring costs using one-time funding, like ESSER funds. They are concerned that they will be unable to find funding in future budget years to cover the recurring costs of new purchases made with one-time funds. If Congress passes an FY2022 Appropriations Bill that includes a significant increase in Title I funds, then States and districts will have some assurance that the recurring costs of purchases made for the 2021-2022 school year using ESSER funds can be included in budgets for the 2022-2023 school year using the increased Title I funding.