Biden touts education funding in infrastructure proposal during visit to schools in Virginia: ‘We’re in a race’ with other nations

Biden touted his recently unveiled $ 1.8 trillion U.S. Family Plan as “a once-in-a-generation investment in our families, in our children, that addresses what people care about and need most: the investment we need to win the competition the competition with other nations in the future ”.

“Because we are in a race. We are in a race. It all starts with access to a good education,” Biden said in an address to Tidewater Community College.

The trip is part of the “Getting America Back on Track” tour aimed at highlighting the president‘s accomplishments during his first 100 days in office and advocating for his ambitious new spending proposals focused on infrastructure, climate, education, childcare and the paid family. to leave.

Biden outlined the main components of the U.S. Family Plan, which aims to help families pay for child care, make two years of community college free, provide paid family and medical leave, and invest in a preschool. universal. The plan also calls for improving Pell grants, recruiting more teachers and providing more nutritional assistance to children.

“This is really how to start transforming life, family and community in our economy by investing, by investing in people. Every child has the ability to learn, ”Biden said.

Biden quoted First Lady Jill Biden, who is a community university professor, who stressed the benefits and importance of investing in public education.

“I’ve heard it from Jill a thousand times,” Joe, any country that over-educates us will outperform us. “And it is a fact,” Biden said. He said the first lady would be “deeply involved in leading this effort”.

Biden spoke of the millions of women leaving the workforce amid the pandemic due to struggles to find affordable child care, citing its high costs.

He reflected on his own experience with child care issues after losing his wife and baby daughter in a car crash in 1972, just before being sworn in to the Senate.

“I was a single dad when I was first elected to the Senate, I had two young boys raised after their mother and sister were killed. And if I hadn’t had the family I had, I never could. And I’m ‘I’m not kidding about it, and I was a senator, I was making a living wage,’ Biden said.

Biden’s proposal calls for low- and middle-income families to pay no more than 7% of their income for the care of children under 5. Parents earning up to one and a half times their state’s median income would qualify.

“The hardest working families won’t have to spend a dime if in fact my plan works. If you’re low-income folks, you’ll be able to get child care for free,” Biden said.

The president and the first lady visited an elementary school in Yorktown on Monday morning and then traveled to Norfolk, Va., To visit a CVC workshop at the community college.

The trip also comes amid a push by the Biden administration to reopen schools that have been forced online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president said in an interview with NBC aired last week that K-12 schools “should probably all be open” in the fall for in-person learning, leaving some leeway due to the unpredictable nature of the school. virus, according to a top help. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told CNN on Friday that the administration continued to press for schools to open this spring.

Cardona noted that more than 80% of educators have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The Biden administration called on states to prioritize teachers for Covid-19 vaccines earlier this year as part of its efforts to reopen schools.

The Biden administration has allocated nearly $ 130 billion to K-12 schools to help students return to class after the coronavirus pandemic forced many classes online across the country. The funding was made possible after Congress passed Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package earlier this year.

Schools will be able to use the funding to reduce class sizes, update ventilation systems, help implement social distancing, purchase personal protective equipment and hire support staff.

Now the White House is focused on the next major legislative push.

The US plan for families is part of a two-part package aimed at helping the country’s economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Biden proposed the U.S. Jobs Plan, an infrastructure and jobs proposal of around $ 2 trillion to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and shift the country to greener energy.

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