July 30, 2021, is the deadline to submit comments related to the following six proposed priorities that the U.S. Secretary of Education published in the Federal Register:
- Proposed Priority 1–Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Students, Educators, and Faculty.
- Proposed Priority 2–Promoting Equity in Student Access to Educational Resources, Opportunities, and Welcoming Environments.
- Proposed Priority 3–Supporting a Diverse Educator Workforce and Professional Growth to Strengthen Student Learning.
- Proposed Priority 4— Meeting Student Social, Emotional, and Academic Needs.
- Proposed Priority 5–Increasing Postsecondary Education Access, Affordability, Completion, and Post- Enrollment Success.
- Proposed Priority 6–Strengthening Cross-Agency Coordination and Community Engagement to Advance Systemic Change.
Please don’t miss this opportunity to provide your input on policies that impact the education of children throughout the United States.
How to Submit Comments
Federal eRulemaking Portal:
Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “FAQ.”
Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery:
If you mail or deliver your comments about the proposed priorities and definitions, address them to Nkemjika Ofodile-Carruthers, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W308, Washington, DC 20202.
The background published in the Federal Register appears below. For more information, visit the Federal Register’s site.
The Secretary proposes six priorities and related definitions for use in discretionary grant programs to reflect the Secretary’s vision for American education. This vision includes a respect for the dignity and potential of each and every student and their access to educational opportunity. These proposed priorities are aligned with evidence-based (as defined in this document) and capacity-building approaches to addressing various interconnected policy issues in the Nation’s education system.
With a focus on creating the conditions under which students have equitable access to opportunity, these proposed priorities address a variety of areas. In K-12 education, these areas include closing the large gaps in funding and opportunity within school districts, schools, classrooms, and other learning environments; implementing effective approaches to teaching and learning; closing the divides in digital access and use; meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of all students and creating safe, nurturing, and inclusive learning environments; improving educator diversity; expanding opportunities for educators to receive the preparation, support, and respect they need and deserve; and expanding access to high-quality early learning (as defined in this document). In postsecondary education, the proposed priorities address increasing access and success in postsecondary education for underserved students (as defined in this document), including making college affordable and fostering supportive career pathways. In both K-12 and postsecondary education, the proposed priorities include a focus on providing all students with access to high-quality schools and institutions that prepare them for college and career with a balance of quality coursework that includes the arts and sciences; ensuring post-enrollment success; supporting preparatory and current educator growth; and strengthening high-quality career and technical education.
The Secretary proposes these priorities to advance evidence-based and capacity building approaches with an understanding that meeting these goals requires multifaceted efforts. For example, rather than a priority that is focused solely on educator professional development, the proposed priority addresses the needs of all educators, all aspects of the educator pipeline, and the diversity of and equitable access to those educators. This approach to the priorities provides a vision for systems-level approaches that build capacity for long-term change. Furthermore, in order to ensure those change efforts are effectively targeted to meet the needs of students, these proposed priorities also include a focus on specific subgroups of students, such as military- and veteran-connected students (as defined in this document), which will provide greater flexibility for the Secretary to focus the work of grantees on areas of critical need.
Additionally, regarding each technology reference, all technology developed or used under these proposed priorities must be accessible to English learners and to individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as applicable.
These proposed priorities and definitions are intended to replace the current supplemental priorities published on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096), the Opportunity Zones final priority published on November 27, 2019 (84 FR 65300), and the Remote Learning priority published on December 30, 2020 (85 FR 86545); NIAs published before the finalization of these proposed priorities that use the current priorities remain in effect. At this time, we are retaining the Administrative Priorities published on March 9, 2020 (85 FR 13640) while the Department continues to examine potential updates to the Education Department General Administrative Regulations, which may include incorporation of these March 9, 2020, priorities.
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