What Is In The President’s Budget For Children And Families?
There is a lot happening federally. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed, President Biden released details of his American Jobs Plan, and he is expected to release details of an American Families Plan in the next few weeks. In addition, the Biden administration released the blueprint for his FY2022 budget request. Please note that the administration’s full budget request is expected to be released in the next few months. The forthcoming budget proposal will also include mandatory spending and tax reform recommendations. President Biden will address Congress on April 28.
The Administration is also working to improve conditions for children at the border and to release information on implementing legislation already passed so that states can expedite providing relief to families and communities.
Details of President Biden’s FY2022 Skinny Budget Request
Below are the highlights of his appropriations proposal. Keep in mind that annual appropriations will go through the usual budget process and therefore must be negotiated with the Senate Republicans since they will require at least 10 Republican Senators to pass. Thus, the final bill will probably be significantly different.
Fiscal Year 2022 is the first year in a decade where there are no statutory appropriations caps. This allows Congress and the President to help make up for a decade of shrinking appropriations when compared to increases in inflation and population. The President’s budget includes significant increases in domestic spending and a defense increase that is only slightly greater than inflation.
· $769 billion – proposed non-defense discretionary funding in FY 2022 (16 percent increase from FY2021)
· $753 billion – proposed national defense spending (1.7 percent increase from FY2021)
Detailed Breakdown of Proposed Discretionary Funding for FY 2022
· Early Childhood
· $7.4 billion – Child Care and Development Block Grant to expand access to quality, affordable child care (increase of 25 percent)
· $11.9 billion investment in Head Start (increase of 11 percent)
· Note that the Administration will work with States to make sure resources are allocated to increase the wages of early educators and family child care providers
· $450 million – Preschool Development Grants program
· $15.5 billion – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants to support special education for preschool to twelfth-grade students ( a nearly 20 percent increase, as a first step toward fully funding)
· $732 million for IDEA Part C for early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays (a 50 percent increase)
· $36.5 billion – Title I grants to support high-quality education to under-resourced schools (this more than doubles Title I funding)
· $430 million – Full Service Community Schools, providing wrap-around services to students
· $100 million – new grant program to implement strategies to diversify schools
· Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice
· $100 million – new state grants to reduce the overrepresentation of children and families of color in the child welfare system
· $200 million – support states and community-based organizations in responding to and preventing child abuse
· $1.5 billion – grants to support Juvenile Justice programs (increase of 58 percent)
· $6.7 billion – Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC, increase of about 17 percent)
· Public Health and Gun Control
· $3.6 billion – Water infrastructure improvements for community water systems schools, and households to improve drinking water (increase of 21 percent)
· $400 million – Lead Hazard and Healthy Homes grants to reduced lead-based paint in homes of low-income families with young children (increase of 11 percent)
· $1.6 billion – Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and additional funding for access to mental health (increase of more than half)
· $1 billion – increase the number of counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals in schools
· $200 million – reduce maternal mortality rate and race-based disparities in maternal mortality as well as support Maternal Mortality Review Committees and expand the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies program. Funding will also go toward placing early childhood development experts in pediatrician offices and provide implicit bias training for healthcare providers.
· $2.1 billion – initiatives to address the gun violence public health crisis including state grants, background check systems, and gun buyback pilot programs (increase of 12 percent)
· $1.2 billion – support police-community relationships, including racial sensitivity and implicit bias training (increase of 34 percent)
· Housing Services
· $30.4 billion – Housing Choice Vouchers, giving additional support to those who are homeless or fleeing domestic violence (increase of 21 percent)
· $500 million – Homeless Assistance Grants – includes support for survivors of domestic violence and homeless youth
· $4.3 billion – Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to help ensure unaccompanied immigrant children are unified with relatives and sponsors safely and quickly and to provide children with care and services in ORR’s custody. Funding will also go toward supportive services (trauma and mental health services) to children previously separated from their families. Funding for supportive services for these children is new and has been a major concern for children’s immigration advocates.
· $345 million – Some of these funds will support access to the Alternatives to Detention program
Children and teenagers are being placed in emergency holding shelters as the Administration facilitates minors crossing the southern border unaccompanied. These children, by law, should be transferred to HHS shelters within 72 hours, but the lack of shelters available has made this difficult to implement. The agency has been addressing this by trying to add temporary facilities to house the children until they can go to long-term shelters or be reunited with relatives in the U.S.
Congresswoman Jayapal and other congressional representatives sent a letter addressing their recommendations for appropriately caring for migrant children at the southern border; “We ask that you continue to ensure that any activated influx facilities remain open for the briefest duration possible, observe stringent safeguards ensuring children’s safety, appropriate care and services and access to protection, and safely expedite children’s release from government custody and reunification with sponsors, including pursuing innovative measures to facilitate the quick and safe release of children.”
Advocates are responding to reports of governors considering HHS requests to allow the agency to place immigrant children in former juvenile detention centers. Because of the increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the border, children are, on average, in CBP custody for about 122 hours. For example, juvenile justice organizations in Connecticut are trying to convince the governor not to allow the federal government to use a non-operating Juvenile Training School for immigrant children. Youth First released a statement and many organizations are encouraging the Administration to invest in releasing children to their families quickly or house children in homelike settings if needed.
HHS is sending many employees to the border to help place unaccompanied children with sponsors, which may be limiting the capacity at the Administration of Children and Families to get out instructions on the use of COVID relief funds.
Child Tax Credit
Charles Rettig, IRS Commissioner, testified to Congress that the IRS is on track to start advanced payments for the Child Tax Credit in July and send subsequent payments out monthly. A smooth rollout of the expanded credit advance payment may increase the likelihood of extending the enhanced Child Tax Credit – we expect an expansion to be included in Biden’s American Families Plan.
Child Care Relief Resources
· Resource from First Five Years Fund with CCDBG information for the last three COVID relief bills, CARES, CRRSA, and ARP, in one table. It gives an overview of funding amounts, how funds can be used, and important deadlines: CCDBG COVID-19 Relief Funding At-a-Glance – First Five Years Fund (ffyf.org)
· The Office of Child Care released an information memorandum about the supplemental CCDF discretionary funds made available through the CRRSA Act: CCDF-ACF-IM-2021-01 (hhs.gov)
· ARPA Supplemental Stabilization and CCDF Discretionary Funding Allocation Tables – States and Territories: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/data/arpa-supplemental-stabilization-and-ccdf-discretionary-funding-allocation-tables-states
· ARPA Supplemental Stabilization and CCDF Discretionary Funding Allocation Tables – Tribes: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/data/arpa-supplemental-stabilization-and-ccdf-discretionary-funding-allocation-tables-tribes
· White House fact sheet on child care funding from ARPA: Biden-Harris Administration Announces American Rescue Plan Funding to Rescue the Child Care Industry so the Economy Can Recover | The White House and Vice President Harris’ remarks on ARPA’s investment in child care here: https://youtu.be/wXmHpB5EnbY
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.