Congress will soon begin considering legislation to implement President Biden’s American Jobs and American Families Plans. It is imperative that community college leaders advocate strongly in support of these priorities which will have a great impact on our students and our colleges.
The legislation to fund these priorities will likely be a budget reconciliation bill, which can pass the Senate with a simple majority but which also means that it will likely only attract Democratic support. So, while it is always helpful for both parties to hear about your priorities, for this legislation it is especially important that Democratic members be contacted.
President Biden’s proposals include several community-college focused initiatives that we ask you to advocate for, including:
- Tuition-free community college: $109 billion over 10 years for a federal-state partnership that would make community colleges tuition-free, allowing students to use their existing grant aid to meet other college costs.
- Community college infrastructure: $12.4 billion for the renovation, modernization and construction of community college facilities. AACC estimates that the renovation and modernization of community college facilities alone exceeds $60 billion, so there is ample justification for these targeted resources.
- Community college-led job training: $9 billion for a program to support the creation, expansion and improvement of community college workforce education programs. The program would be similar in nature to the highly successful Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program.
- Student completion grants: $62 billion over 10 years to enhance college completion and student success. This support would dramatically enhance community college efforts to enhance performance and close achievement gaps. It would complement need-based student aid.
Click here to download a sample letter that you can email to your Congressional representatives. We encourage you to customize the letter with details specific to your institution. In addition to the letter, other forms of contact including phone calls and emails to your legislators or their staff are also encouraged.