Biden administration says it wants to help Title I schools


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed four executive orders Tuesday aimed at advancing racial equity in America.

“Systemic racism that has plagued our nation for far, far too long,” President Joe Biden said. “We need criminal justice reform, but that isn’t nearly enough. We need to open the promise of America to every American. And that means we need to make the issue of racial equity not just an issue for any one department of government; it has to be the business of the whole of government.”

The executive orders signed are as follows:

  1. Advance fair housing. “Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies.” This directs HUD to examine the effects of the previous Administration’s regulatory actions that undermined fair housing policies and laws and directs HUD to take steps necessary based on that analysis to fully implement the Fair Housing Act’s requirements.
  2. Reform the incarceration system by ending the use of private prisons.
  3. Reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to tribal sovereignty and consultation.
  4. Combat xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“I firmly believe the nation is ready to change, but government has to change as well. We need to make equity and justice part of what we do every day — today, tomorrow, and every day,” President Biden said.

The White House said in a release Tuesday that these actions are “just the start” and the president is committed to working with Congress to “pass legislation that advances racial equity.” The press release specifically pointed out tripling funding for Title I schools.

“It’s certainly needed in the school system, that would go to mostly urban and rural places,” Jennings School District Superintendent Art McCoy said.

If passed, Title I District Jennings would get billions more because 20 to 40 percent of its budget comes from federal funding. Even though this is still in the works, President Biden has discussed this during the campaign trail, and just the potential of more federal funding has the attention of local superintendents.

“Hearing that our title funds could triple is an answer to prayers, we literally need every penny that we have,” McCoy said. “We have faced a $1.6 million deficit from having money restricted during the pandemic to make the state budget.”

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