Proposed 2025 Biden budget would increase DEI funding in education

President Biden’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year would allocate billions of dollars to left-wing causes like DEI initiatives in public education.

Senator Marsha Blackburn called the plan an 'unserious budget,' noting its push for billions toward climate change policies and additional support for DEI.

President Biden’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year would allocate billions of dollars to left-wing causes like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, especially in public education.

Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2025, released on March 11, amounts to over $7.3 trillion dollars in federal spending on a broad range of goals and priorities, including an allocation of $82 billion for the Department of Education. Millions of these dollars are also counted among the $3 billion earmarked to “advance gender equity and equality worldwide.”

[RELATED: UVA spends $20 million each year on DEI personnel: report]

The proposed budget would spend $95 million to the Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) initiative, the stated purpose of which includes “[improving] the quality of prospective and new teachers by improving the preparation of prospective teachers and enhancing professional development activities for new teachers.” The program also seeks to “recruit highly qualified individuals, including minorities and individuals from other occupations.”

A recent grant sponsored by TQP invited applying institutions to launch projects which aimed to “support new pre-baccalaureate and teacher residency models that would emphasize the creation or expansion of high-quality, comprehensive pathways into the classroom.” The grant specifies an extensive list of criteria by which applicants would be evaluated, such as giving preference to schools that partner with “minority-serving institutions, in order to diversify the teacher pipeline.”

If the budget is passed, many similar initiatives would see significant increases in their funding, such as the Hawkins Centers for Education, whose efforts to “support centers of excellence at institutions of higher education” are restricted exclusively to “Minority Serving Institutions” such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and others. Under Biden’s proposal, the Hawkins Program would receive a 100% funding increase, up from $15 million in FY 2024.

A White House fact sheet released the same day as the budget acknowledges the plan’s efforts to “[Promote] Equity in Education and [Build] a Diverse, Capable STEM Workforce.”

“The Budget increases institutional capacity at HBCUs, [Tribal Colleges and Universities], MSIs, and under-resourced institutions, including community colleges, and doubles funding by providing $100 million for four-year HBCUs, TCCUs, and MSIs to expand research and development infrastructure,” the fact sheet notes. 

“In support of the CHIPS and Science Act’s priority of building a diverse, STEM-capable workforce, the Budget provides $1.4 billion for STEM education and workforce development programs at the National Science Foundation that have an emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility,” it continues.

The White House also brings attention to the president’s plan for “funding for programs focused on increasing the participation of groups historically underrepresented in science and engineering fields, including women and girls and people of color.” 

The proposed budget has been met with criticism from some politicians on the right.

“President Biden has his priorities completely backward, and hardworking Tennesseans will not stand for another tax-and-spend boondoggle,” U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn said, according to The Center Square. “This unserious budget – the largest proposed in U.S. history – includes $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund to help ‘prioritize climate change’ and millions for programs that promote DEI.”

[RELATED: HRC’s HBCU summit prioritizes students from states with ‘unjust’ anti-DEI laws]

The proposed spending increases on DEI come alongside numerous additional efforts by the Biden administration to foster inclusion and diversity more broadly. Since taking office in 2021, Biden has become the first president to appoint a “Government-wide Chief Diversity Officer” and similar offices, which aim to “advance equity, support employees, and ensure our workforce reflects the wide variety of talent and lived experience across the nation.”

Campus Reform has contacted TQP, the Hawkins Centers for Education, and Sen. Marsha Blackburn for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.