Statement by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request

Statement by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request

April 18, 2023

Good morning, Chairman Aderholt, Ranking Member DeLauro, and distinguished members of the Committee.

I am pleased to join you today to testify on behalf of President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 Budget Request for the Department of Education.

My time in front of you today is about choices. 

The choice to invest in America’s children, or the choice to protect the status quo of underachievement.

The choice to come together on behalf of the students, parents and educators who are looking to us to serve and Raise the Bar for education in this country, versus the choice to break down in partisanship or divisive culture wars. 

It’s best to think of this budget proposal by thinking of a child’s journey through education.

In this scenario, a child starting her educational journey builds a strong foundation for learning right away – because this budget made it possible to expand high-quality preschool for more four-year-olds across America.

Now, imagine when she gets to elementary school. If she is a student with disabilities, she benefits from the additional $2.7 billion in this budget to help include and support her.

If she goes to a Title I school, she learns the fundamentals of reading, math, and other rigorous subjects she’ll need to succeed in life - because that school is able to tailor instruction and use data to provide one-on-one support, thanks to the $2.2 billion in additional funding for Title I schools in this budget.

Wherever she goes to school, she can also count on having a highly-qualified teacher who has gained years of experience in helping students learn and grow – because we invested early to fully prepare, develop, and empower our educators.

And as she walks around her school, she feels welcomed and included, gaining the benefits of a strong, intentional focus on a safe, supportive school climate that helps her learn.

She sees teachers who look like her – because we invested in programs that build a talented and diverse pipeline of educators -- from Hawkins grants to Teacher Quality Partnerships.

Now, imagine that she faces some challenges with her mental health, as we know many students do.

She can go to a mental health professional right at her school who’s available to help the student directly – because that school benefited from our investment of another half billion dollars to advance our goal of doubling the number of counselors, social workers, and mental health providers available to our kids.

She and her family can also get wraparound supports from her community – because we’ve more than doubled funding for Full- Service Community Schools that are designed to do exactly that.

As that student comes closer to adulthood, she has pathways to careers and skills to succeed in the world.

We set her up to compete and succeed in a stronger economy than ever, with well-paying jobs at the ready, because this budget delivered more funding for Career and Technical Education, more funds to create career-connected high schools, and more investments in helping every student become multilingual.

She also has a jump start on her path toward earning a college degree or credential – because we worked together to make postsecondary education inclusive and affordable.

We increased the Pell Grant. We invested in proven strategies that help students like her better afford college, and succeed in earning her degree. We supported our HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.  And we made free community college a reality nationwide.

This vision of our future isn’t reality – yet. But these are just a few of the incredible ways that together we can Raise the Bar for education, when Congress acts to advance these education priorities in President Biden’s FY24 budget.

We have a choice to give our students more – not less – with this budget. To go back to a broken status quo – or raise the bar, together.

If we can work together to do what we agree needs to be done . . .

I know we can raise the bar. And we will.

Thank you, and I’m looking forward to your questions.