By: Andrew O’Donnell, intern for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid
As someone currently attending community college, I can tell you firsthand about many of its benefits. Not only is community college significantly cheaper than four-year institutions and often much closer to home, it’s also a great place to begin your postsecondary education if you’re someone like me who was unsure of a specific program of study to pursue right after graduating from high school.
By Braden Goetz, OCTAE; Levi Bohanan & Sophie Maher, OESE
High school students are gaining new opportunities to participate in career and technical education (CTE) and prepare for in-demand jobs like teaching as a result of President Biden’s $122 billion American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER). High-quality CTE programs can boost school engagement, on-time graduation and academic learning by giving students hands-on opportunities to apply classroom-learned knowledge and skills. In the process, CTE can be a launch pad to in-demand high-quality careers that simultaneously address labor market needs.
A 2015 Presidential Executive Order expanded the Presidential Scholars award to recognize students on the basis of outstanding scholarship, demonstrated ability, and accomplishment in career and technical education (CTE) fields. February is CTE Month, and in the spirit of celebrating the unique and valuable opportunity CTE provides, we checked back in with a few of the 2016-2018 Presidential Scholars in CTE to learn more about where their educational journey has led them.
This week, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) approved all remaining American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’s Homeless Children and Youth Fund (ARP-HCY) state plans. With today’s approval of Mississippi’s state plan, all 52 ARP-HCY state plans are approved by the Department. The $800 million in funding provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will continue to identify and support students experiencing homelessness and connect them with necessary resources and supports, and work to enable them to attend school and fully participate in school activities.
By Maria Rowan, Education Program Specialist, OESE, Disaster Recovery Unit
Since 2017, over 300 presidentially declared major disasters have occurred across all 50 states and all U.S. territories. In 2021 alone, the U.S. experienced 56 major natural disasters in the form of fires, floods, hurricanes, mudslides, tornados, and severe storms. Whether we witness the aftermath first-hand in our own communities or through our work with affected schools, we know disasters like these can negatively impact the emotional, academic, financial, and physical well-being of students. In 2018, to better assist schools in dealing with impacts of natural disasters ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education formed a Disaster Recovery Unit (DRU) with the goal of increasing resources dedicated to education disaster recovery efforts.
President Biden has a bold vision for the future of country in his Build Back Better agenda, and critical education investments like the free community college and advancing affordability proposals are about opening opportunity for all Americans. As we close out National Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s also a time to celebrate what these proposals would mean for Latino students trying to pursue a postsecondary degree or certificate.
As a teacher, a principal, and a parent, I always loved those first few days – students seeing each other for the first time after summer break, getting to know their teachers, reading a book or participating in a club or a sport that sparked a new passion.
But this year, the joy that students and educators are feeling as they return to in-person learning is mixed with uncertainty and a sense of urgency as a result of the pandemic. As educators, we know in our hearts how important in-person learning is for student success—even before the data emerged on the devastating impact of school building closures during the past 18 months.
Como maestro, director de escuela y padre, siempre me han gustado los primeros días de clase, porque es cuando los estudiantes se ven por primera vez después de las vacaciones de verano, conocen a sus nuevos maestros, leen sus libros, y se unen a un nuevo club escolar o equipo deportivo.
Pero este año la alegría que normalmente sienten los estudiantes y educadores cuando regresan al aula está ensombrecida por las preocupaciones de la pandemia. Como educadores, entendemos muy bien lo importante que es el aprendizaje en el aula para el éxito de los estudiantes, incluso antes de tener los datos que demuestran el impacto devastador que ha tenido el cierre de las escuelas sobre los estudiantes en los últimos 18 meses.
Guest blog by Maureen McLaughlin, Senior Advisor and Director of International Affairs, Office of the Secretary
If it wasn’t already clear before the pandemic, it should be clear now that, in today’s interconnected world, many of our biggest challenges—reducing economic and social disparities, building prosperity, supporting public health, addressing climate change, and maintaining peace—are global in nature. To address these challenges, we must work together—not just within the United States, but also with others around the world.
The following is a cross-post from the Office for Civil Rights.
As the Office for Civil Rights continues our comprehensive review of the U.S. Department of Education’s actions under Title IX, the landmark law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in our nation’s schools, we are pleased to share several recent steps—including two taken today.
The following is a cross-post from the Office for Civil Rights.
An essential part of ensuring equal opportunity is protecting all students in their access to education free from discrimination. This includes the right of all students in the United States to attend America’s public elementary and secondary schools, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.
The teaching of civics and history – an opportunity to better understand our past and how our government works so we can engage in and influence our future – has long provided the foundation for students to be active participants in society and help our nation live up to its highest ideals. These values have been championed over the years by Americans of all backgrounds, and they are deeply embedded in our commitment to both patriotism and progress.