“President Biden’s proposed budget outlines critical investments in Latino students because investing in Latino students is about investing in the future of this nation”
Washington, D.C. – Amanda Fernandez, CEO and Founder of Latinos for Education, the nation’s first Latina founded organization focused on increasing the voice and influence of Latinos within education as well as advancing policies that support Latino students, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s proposed FY 2024 budget:
“Latino students will soon make up 1 out of every 3 students enrolled in our public education system, thus investing in the academic success and outcomes of Latino students from cradle to career is about investing in the future of our nation. President Biden’s proposed FY 2024 budget makes needed investments that are critical to advancing educational equity and opportunity for the Latino community, including:
- Latinos only make up 9% of all teachers nationwide and critical investments are needed to address the lack of Latino representation within the teaching profession. Investments like the proposed $132.1 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership program and $30 million for the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence program to expand the number of prospective teachers are needed to prepare a new generation of Latino educators to enter the classroom.
- Latino children have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we must address their social and emotional well-being so they can be prepared to learn. President Biden’s proposed investment of $578 million to increase the number of school-based counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals in K-12 schools can help schools prioritize the wellbeing of Latino children.
- Latino students often attend schools that don’t offer a robust curriculum or the ability to enroll in advanced coursework. President Biden’s proposed $200 million for the Career-Connected High Schools initiative, especially to support the dual enrollment of Latino students in college-level coursework while in high school, can help ensure Latinos are prepared for college success beyond high school.
- While more Latino students are enrolling in college, the cost of attending college is still a significant hurdle that prevents millions of Latinos from pursuing a college degree. Investments like President Biden’s proposed increase to Pell Grants is a good start for supporting Latinos pursuing their college dreams, but we know it will still leave students with a significant financial gap that will only be met by doubling the Pell Grant award amount.
- Latino families often lack access to high-quality early childhood education programs, which we know are crucial to help set up our youngest Latino learners for academic and life success. We’re excited and supportive of Biden’s plan to provide high-quality, universal and free preschool to our youngest learners, especially programs that meet the diverse needs of Latino families.
- The Latino student population is diverse, and includes a significant number of students who are Multilingual Learners which are severely underserved by our current education system. President Biden’s proposed investment of $100 million to address the growing shortage of bilingual educators is a needed first step to ensure the needs of our multilingual learners are met.
About Latinos for Education:
Latinos for Education is a national education non-profit organization focused on developing, placing, and connecting essential Latino talent in the education sector. The organization is mobilizing a network of skilled education leaders to ensure the voice of students and families is not only heard but factored into decision-making in schools, communities, and education institutions throughout the U.S. The organization also ensures Latino education professionals have access to a nationwide network of peers as well as career and professional development opportunities across the country through the members-only EdCentro network. For more information visit: https://www.latinosforeducation.org.
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