On March 9, President Biden unveiled his budget request for fiscal year 2024. The major disappointment is that the administration included no increase for Title II-A, the only federal program devoted exclusively to supporting professional learning activities.

The administration’s budget signals that Title II-A is not a priority. This does not set us up well to seek an increase in funding from Congress and could even mean a target on the funding when Congress is looking for cuts. That’s why we need to let Congress know right now that this funding is vital to educators and students across the United States, and that members of Congress must make it a priority.

The administration’s budget snub comes hard on the heels of a paltry increase last year, and at a time when educators need more support than ever, as we work to recover from the impacts of the Covid pandemic, meet students’ growing needs, and navigate nationwide teacher shortages.

We need to let Congress know right now that this funding is vital to educators and students across the United States. Click To Tweet

While the appropriations timeline is still up in the air, we should see House and Senate appropriations subcommittees hold hearings on the budget later this spring and early this summer. The appropriations process will likely differ from the past few years, with new rules that were negotiated by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, during his bid to become speaker. These rules ultimately mean that multiple subcommittees involved in appropriating funding must all pass an increase in Title II-A, so we can’t afford to convince only some people of the vital importance of this funding.

Act now in support of Title II-A

We cannot be complacent, and we cannot wait. No increase – or, even worse, a cut – in Title II-A funding jeopardizes a program that equips educators to meet students’ ever-growing needs and improves their working conditions to help stabilize this essential workforce.

Look for Learning Forward’s March 10 advocacy alert that will help you act. We need you to act quickly and send an email to your members of Congress with just one click. Additionally, if you are a district leader, teacher, instructional coach, or teacher mentor, we are asking you to fill out a five-minute, anonymous survey so that we can advocate quickly on behalf of this critical program. (Click here if you are a district leader. Click here if you are a teacher, instructional coach, or teacher mentor.)

Questions? Contact Melinda George, Learning Forward’s Chief Policy Officer, at melinda.george@learningforward.org.

Visit Learning Forward’s advocacy page here.

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Melinda George is Learning Forward’s chief policy officer, serving on the Learning Forward leadership team and overseeing Learning Forward’s policy and advocacy work. Melinda has been integral to developing strategy and facilitating networks as well as leading the Learning Forward fundraising team.

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