Biden’s FY24 budget requests $90B for Education Department

In the U.S. government budget for fiscal year 2024, revealed March 9, President Joe Biden has requested $90 billion for the Department of Education, $10.8 billion more than the 2023 enacted level.

Some of the investments within that $90 billion are:

• $20.5 billion for Title I (a $2.2 billion increase above the 2023 enacted level)

• $578 million for more school-based counselors, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals in K-12 schools and to support colleges and universities develop campus-wide strategies to address student mental health needs, including hiring additional providers on their campuses

• $132 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership program (a $62 million increase above the 2023 enacted level)

“President Biden’s latest budget proposal calls on Congress to act with urgency and provide our schools with the resources needed to raise the bar in education by promoting academic excellence and rigorous instruction, improving learning conditions, and answering unmet challenges like the educator shortage and the mental health needs of our students,” U.S.…

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AFT Local 4277, AFTNJ take action related to discharged TESU dean’s civil case

A civil lawsuit filed Jan. 25 by former Thomas Edison State University employee Joseph Youngblood II against TESU, President Merodie Hancock and others has prompted AFT Local 4277 and AFTNJ to speak out in support of TESU’s AFT members, the school’s reputation and the legal process.

In his suit, Youngblood alleges that over the course of his employment at TESU, which began 2003, he was “subjected to an ongoing campaign of blatant discriminatory practices and an environment of fear and intimidation.”…

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Biden calls for teacher raises, preschool access in SOTU address

President Joe Biden on Feb. 7 devoted about two minutes of his State of the Union address to a handful of education-related issues.

“You know, when we made public education — 12 years of it — universal in the last century, we became the best-educated, best-paid nation in the world,” Biden said. “But the rest of the world has caught up.”…

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Survey: Faculty, staff and student mental health on campus worsened during past year

More than 70 percent of surveyed National Association of Student Personnel Administrators members said campus mental health — faculty, staff and students — worsened over the past year.

“College leaders increasingly acknowledge the critical need to address mental health on campus, especially as more students open up about their struggles with issues like anxiety and depression,” NASPA President Kevin Kruger says in the resulting report “Current State of College & Student Mental Health,” done in partnership with Uwill.…

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Murphy awaits bills to increase fiscal oversight in higher education

Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 19 pledged his support for three bills aimed at ensuring fiscal accountability at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.

Those three bills are:

A4970/S3406: Requires public institutions of higher education to submit annual fiscal monitoring report; authorizes Secretary of Higher Education to appoint State monitor of these institutions

A4971/S3407: Requires public institution of higher education to post certain information on institution’s website

A4967/S3436: Revises training requirements for governing board members of public institutions of higher education

“And when these bills come to my desk, I will sign them,” Murphy said during a visit to Union High School’s library.…

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ACE continues webinar series on faculty, staff burnout

The American Council on Education will present “Faculty and Staff Burnout: What to Do About It, Part Two” on Jan. 18 at noon ET.

Like the first session (held Nov. 2), this webinar is free and will be moderated by ACE research and practice director Hollie Chessman. Among the topics of discussion will be the roles that power and positionality play in addressing burnout on campus and how low compensation contributes to burnout.…

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U.S. DOE begins initiative to enhance STEM

The U.S. Department of Education on Dec. 7 launched the Raise the Bar: STEM Excellence for All Students Initiative. According to the U.S. DOE, the initiative is meant to “help implement and scale equitable, high-quality STEM education for all students from PreK to higher education — regardless of background.”

“Research shows how a sense of belonging in rich and rigorous classrooms is directly correlated to students’ long-term academic success,” said U.S.…

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Solidarity aplenty in New Brunswick as Rutgers unions rally for fair contracts

Undeterred by the steady rain, Rutgers University faculty, staff and students gathered Dec. 6 in New Brunswick for an outdoor rally to support Rutgers unions in their quests for fair contracts.

The Hub City rally, one of three held around the same time at the other main Rutgers campuses, began at Voorhees Mall. Among the speakers there was Rutgers AAUP-AFT member Todd Vachon, director of Rutgers LEARN and an AFTNJ higher education vice president.…

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Raise the Bar supports career-connected learning

On Nov. 14, the U.S. Department of Education launched Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success, a Biden-Harris administration initiative supported by the Commerce and Labor departments designed “to strengthen the connection between K-12 education, postsecondary education and workforce programs,” according to the U.S. DOE.

“It’s time we bridge the divide between our K-12 systems and our college, career and industry preparation programs, which leave too many students behind and perpetuate inequities in our most diverse, underserved and rural communities,” said U.S.…

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