Under President Biden’s budget request for fiscal year 2024, the Department of Education would receive $90.6 billion in discretionary spending, a $10.8 billion (or 13.6%) increase from FY23. It also requests “a name change to the Office of English Language Acquisition to the Office of Multilingual and English Learners, promoting the Office’s Director to Assistant Secretary, and adding staff capacity, to elevate the federal obligation to English Learners and strengthen Title III’s program administration.”
Significant budget increases are being sought for Title I (+$2.2 billion) and Title III (+$305 million), but the House Republican majority is unlikely to agree since it will not approve a debt ceiling increase without concessions on federal spending.
According to officials, top education priorities include expanding access to free pre-K, making community college free, creating a path to doubling the Pell Grant, and subsidizing tuition at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.
Within the $305 million increase requested for Title III (Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students), the president proposes to spend $100 million on educator professional learning, with $90 million going toward multilingual educator pipelines and professional development in multilingualism for existing school staff and teachers and $10 million for postsecondary fellowships to improve multilingual educator preparation. Also included is $25 million to support a new Raising the Bar on Multilingualism program to assist districts in scaling high-quality dual language learning and instruction.