At the midway point since issuing its quadrennial Hispanic Public Policy Agenda in 2008, the NHLA assessed the progress made thus far in addressing the major public policy issues facing the Hispanic community nationally across six broad issue areas.
Below is the Executive Summary regarding education. Click here to download the full report.
While policy changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act eluded Congress and the Administration, delaying further important reforms needed to ensure Latino youth succeed in school, funding was increased for various education programs, from pre-K through the university level. The most significant progress was achieved in the realm of higher education, including historic investments in Hispanic Serving Institutions and our nation’s veterans’ ability to pursue higher education.
Early Childhood Education
In the first half of 2011, two sobering reports, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection and National Center for Education Statistics, underlined the low educational attainment levels and achievement gaps of Hispanic Americans and Limited English Proficient students, reinforcing the need for meaningful reform and investments in improved educational services and opportunities for Latinos.
- Head Start funding was increased to enable an expansion of Head Start and Early Start services to 70,000 additional children, including 55,500 infants and toddlers, nearly doubling the population served by Early Head Start.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and FY2009 appropriations increased the maximum Pell Grant by more than $600 for a total award of $5,350. The maximum award increased to $5,550 in 2010.
- The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 will limit loan payments to 10% of income, and forgive any remaining debt after 20 years, or after 10 years for those in public service.
- Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) won a 25% increase in funding to develop undergraduate education, known as Title V, Part A; and funding for graduate education at HSIs (Title V, Part B) was funded for the first time at $22 million in FY 2010.
- As a part of the College Cost Reduction Act, HSIs received $1 billion for STEM Education development per year for 10 years, starting with $100 million in FY 2010.
- The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act enhances the New GI Bill for the 21st Century to provide a four-year college education for veterans. The new legislation expands coverage to vocational programs, distance learning for disabled veterans, and includes a stipend to pay for textbooks.
- The FY 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill extended college education benefits to children of members of the armed forces who die while on active duty.