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Introduction from Executive Director, Emily Shields

This week saw continued movement on budget bills in the House and Senate. The Senate released their Education Appropriations bill, which included a $6.5 million increase in Community College State General Aid. This bill passed out of committee. The House also released their Economic Development Appropriations bill, which included a $1.75 million increase in 260F job retraining funds. We are grateful to both chambers for their support (and now would be a good time to contact them to say so!) Not much movement occurred on other bills that we are tracking this week. At the Federal level, the Biden administration released their budget request, which included several items of interest to Community Colleges, including:

  • A $400 increase per student for the Pell Grant maximum award

  • An extension of Pell Grant eligibility to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients

  • A $600 million increase for HBCUs, TCUs, MSIs and low-resourced institutions, including Community Colleges

  • A $100 million increase for registered apprenticeships

  • A $203 million increase for WIOA state grants

Finally, yesterday the Governor announced new COVID relief funding including up to $2.89 million in competitive grants for Iowa’s Community Colleges to supplement the state’s GAP Tuition Assistance Program. More information on the process for school districts and Community Colleges to apply for this round of funding is expected soon.

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