NewDEAL Forum Releases Recommendations for American Rescue Plan Education Funding
New Resource Highlights How Federal Relief Aid Can Be Used to Expand College and Career Pathways
Washington, DC – The NewDEAL Forum Education Policy Group, in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed), today released a new resource encouraging state and local governments to use the historic $122 billion investment in K-12 education under the American Rescue Plan to build high-quality college and career pathways for all students.
The analysis looks at how ARP dollars can be applied to broad goals for improving student success beyond high school, such as creating more ways for students to earn college credit while still in high school, promoting FAFSA completion among students who historically have not filled out the federal financial aid form, and providing more opportunities for internships by improving relationships between schools and employers. The recommendations draw from a recent report by the Education Policy Group, co-chaired by Georgia Senate Minority Caucus Chair Elena Parent and Montgomery, AL Mayor Steven L. Reed, which has crafted state and local policy proposals for aligning the future of education with workforce opportunities and needs.
In the document released today, the group also calls for using ARP funds to identify and expand career pathways that offer college credit and workplace experience aligned to high-demand fields, as well as to adopt enhanced college advising that helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome barriers in the college application and selection process.
“The American Rescue Plan has created an unprecedented opportunity for state and local governments to address long-standing inequities exacerbated by COVID-19 and ensure that our country emerges from the pandemic stronger than when it started,” said NewDEAL Forum CEO Debbie Cox Bultan. “This crisis has laid bare the stark divides in our education system and it is imperative that, as they support students most impacted by the pandemic, policymakers are keenly focused on ensuring every student has the opportunity to attain more than a high school diploma and to gain the skills for the jobs of the future.”
“With this historic level of relief coming from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan, we have an opportunity to ensure all students have the knowledge and support needed to thrive in high school and beyond,” said All4Ed president and CEO Deborah Delisle. “This guide can help states and districts figure out how to not only address the disrupted school year’s impact on learning, but also to finally build stronger, more equitable systems that give students — particularly our the vulnerable and historically marginalized students — what they need to be successful.”
Comments from Education Policy Group Co-chairs:
“As highlighted in this report, Georgia has made some important investments in preparing students for success after high school, notably through our robust dual enrollment program,” said Senator Parent. “Through the resources being made available to state governments, and to our education system specifically, the American Rescue Plan offers us a unique opportunity to strengthen the pathways to college and career for our students. Most importantly, we must take advantage of the funding to ensure that the benefits of these initiatives are experienced equitably among all Georgians.”
“With the strong commitment of our education community and other key public and private sector leaders, I am excited about the potential for Montgomery to make incredible progress in improving opportunities available for all students,” said Mayor Reed. “The American Rescue Plan has created an enormous opportunity to accelerate that progress here, across Alabama, and throughout the country by allowing states and cities to invest in the solutions that we know are effective. That means stronger college and career pathways as laid out in this report, including work-based learning opportunities like apprenticeships, as well as investments in our youngest children through high-quality early childhood programs. I look forward to the work of the Forum’s Education Policy Group in supporting implementation of this report.”
About the NewDEAL Forum
The NewDEAL Forum is a Washington-DC based non-profit organization which identifies and promotes innovative, future-oriented state and local pro-growth progressive policies that can improve the lives of all Americans. By facilitating the identification and spread of policy ideas, the NewDEAL Forum seeks to foster economic growth, reduce barriers to opportunity, and promote good government in communities, cities and states throughout the country.
The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those underperforming and those historically underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. All4ed.org