U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) today hailed First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona initiatives announced at Bergen Community College to meet students’ basic needs in higher education, reduce barriers to success in higher education, and provide ongoing support during the pandemic. Rep. Pascrell also welcomed news of $198 million in forthcoming American Rescue Plan funds for community colleges.
“While I am disappointed commitments kept me in DC this morning, I am ecstatic that Dr. Biden and Secretary Cardona have chosen our community to announce these important education initiatives for our students,” said Rep. Pascrell, a former teacher and longtime champion of federal education investment. “In Bergen County and across the United States, students are in need of federal assistance and federal guidance as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, we have an administration and an Education Department that are willing to go above and beyond for our students, educators, and school support staff. Both Dr. Biden and Secretary Cardona are terrific educators that clearly understands the needs of higher education students as they prepare to enter the workforce. I am extremely proud of the role I played in passing President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and today we continue to see the fruits of that monumental legislation.”
Rep. Pascrell is a former member of the Passaic County Community College (PCCC) Board of Trustees, and a regular advocate for federal support of New Jersey’s students and colleges. A provision in the American Rescue Plan authored by Pascrell would make college loan forgiveness tax-free and eliminate thousands of dollars in surprise tax bills. In 2019, Pascrell helped win $250,000 in school security grants for Paterson Public Schools and $300,000 to prevent sexual violence on campus at PCCC. Pascrell also announced in 2016 $2 million in federal education grants to Bergen Community College and PCCC to promote programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.