April Federal Policy Update


Policy by the People Agenda

Summary of federal policy action this past month and a look-ahead to the next few weeks/month

  1. White House announces another $7.4B in student debt relief: On April 12, the White House announced that another $7.4 billion of student debt will be waived, an amount that will roughly benefit “277,000 student borrowers.” A little under half of the forgiveness—about “$3.6 billion for 206,800 people—is for borrowers enrolled in the Biden administration’s new income-driven repayment plan known as SAVE.” All together, this adds up to a total of $135 billion of student debt forgiven.
  2. U.S. Department of Education Holds ‘Week of Action’ on Financial Aid, Months After FASFA Rollout: After a less than smooth roll-out, and with completion rates “down 40% compared with last year,” the Biden administration declared April 15-19th the “FAFSA Week of Action” in which students were encouraged to complete their FAFSA form through information sessions and outreach campaigns. However, some experts are concerned that this effort is insufficient to address the Department’s rollout mistakes and delays, especially since those “hardest hit by the delays include students who are likely to opt out of college altogether this year and institutions that might have to close because they rely on low-income students who depend on federal Pell grants.”


  • Upcoming Event: The Campaign for Grade Level Reading will host the webinar Back to School: Reducing Barriers to a Successful Start in Kindergarten on May 7th at 3:00 pm EST. More information can be found here.
  • Upcoming Event: The Western Educational Equity Assistance Center will host the webinar Pathways to Re-Engagement: Summer Opportunities on May 8th at 5:00 pm EST. More information can be found here.
  • Upcoming Event: The Learning Policy Institute will host the webinar Addressing State Teacher Shortages: The Promise of Apprenticeship Programs on May 16th at 2:00 pm EST. More information can be found here.
  • livestream of their 2024 Summit on April 14-17th. More information can be found here.
  • Upcoming Event: The National Coalition on Education Equity will host a livestream of their 2024 Conference “Establishing a National Agenda to Fulfill the Promise of Brown” from May 22-24th. More information can be found here.
  • Upcoming Event: The Institute for Educational Leadership will host the 2024 National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference from May 29-31st. More information can be found here.


IEL Policy Highlights:

  • Four IEL staff were featured speakers at the No Kid Hungry Public Benefit Access Through Schools Convening in Washington, D.C., in early April. These IEL staff members presented on the role Full-Service Community Schools can play in helping students, families, and community members gain access to public benefits in an effort to reduce food insecurity in children and families.
  • In April 2024, IEL and the Coalition signed on to six letters in support of federal funding for various programs and initiatives in the 2025 fiscal year, including IDEA, youth mentoring, and teacher development programs.
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