State of the Union Education Message: Focus on Mental Health, Combatting Pandemic's Impact on Learning

In his speech, President Biden spoke of a need to help youth with mental health and learning issues caused by the pandemic. The White House released details of the plans for funding and support.

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While much of President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on Tuesday night was about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he did speak about students and education, with a focus on the mental health of America's youth and combatting the pandemic's impact on learning.

“Let’s take on mental health,” Biden said. “Especially among our children, whose lives and education have been turned upside down.”

He called upon parents to hold districts accountable for their spending of pandemic recovery funding and asked all Americans to volunteer to tutor or mentor children, although he did not propose a federal tutoring program.

“The American Rescue Plan gave schools money to hire teachers and help students make up for lost learning,” Biden said. “I urge every parent to make sure your school does just that. And we can all play a part—sign up to be a tutor or a mentor."

Part of the administration's plan to help with mental health support and learning includes a large increase in fundingabout $400 million more than the $30 million currently allocated—for full-service community schools, which provide “wraparound supports” for students, including access to mental health professionals, food pantries, and social services. 

Biden also expressed a desire to avoid a COVID shutdown of school buildings again.

"Our schools are open, let's keep it that way," he said. "Our kids need to be in school."

Read the details on the government's plan to support student mental health and try to overcome the learning disruption caused by the pandemic from the White House fact sheet below.


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