President Joe Biden recently proposed a massive package of policies designed to reduce child poverty rates and make preschool and higher education more accessible.


The $1.8 trillion proposal, called the American Families Plan, includes at least two dozen new programs or policy shifts. And while the most ambitious elements aren’t directly connected to K-12 education, if it becomes law, the proposal could substantially alter American students’ educational journey, starting at a very young age and continuing through post-secondary education, according to a report from Chalkbeat.


The package is expected to face opposition from Republicans and may also encounter resistance from Democrats who say it’s not ambitious enough. Here are four major aspects of the plan.


It dramatically expands federal support for education before kindergarten and after 12th grade. A centerpiece of Biden’s plan is offering universal preschool to all American 3- and 4-year-olds and offering two years of community college to all students free of charge.


Biden also wants to increase the maximum size of Pell Grants, which subsidize college education for students from low-income families, by about $1,400. The plan includes $62 billion “to invest in evidence-based strategies” for improving college completion rates, which are often lower for low-income students and students of color. It would also add a program to lower tuition for many students attending historically Black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.


Biden argues that these investments — including $200 billion for preschool, $109 billion for community college and $80 billion for Pell Grants — will pay off, leading to economic growth.


It offers more children free meals at school and during the summer. The plan seeks to make it more appealing for schools to opt into a federal program that allows all children in a given school to receive free meals, regardless of their family’s income. It also would lower the threshold for universal free meals in elementary schools from 40% of students who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to 25%.


Biden also wants to offer all low-income families direct food subsidies during the summer by adding $25 billion to a program known as Summer EBT.


It extends anti-poverty programs for families with children. Biden wants to permanently ensure that the lowest income families are eligible for a direct payment to support their children. Previously, the Child Tax Credit excluded who didn’t pay much or anything in federal taxes, effectively leaving out the poorest families and their children. The proposal would ensure that all low- and middle-income families with children receive direct support.


Biden would also increase the size of that payment for five years. It would rise from $2,000 per child to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for older children. This would essentially extend a change included in Biden’s stimulus bill.


It encourages more people to become teachers. Biden wants to invest $9 billion “to train, equip and diversify American teachers.” The plan would double federal TEACH scholarships for prospective teachers from $4,000 to $8,000, invest $2.8 billion in “grow your own” and teacher residency programs, pour $1.6 billion into helping teachers obtain additional certifications in areas like special education and bilingual education, and offer $2 billion for mentorship programs and other ideas that “leverage teachers as leaders.”


Separately, Biden has proposed more than doubling the federal Title I program, which sends money to schools serving low-income students, from $16.5 billion to $36.5 billion. Some of that money could go to increasing teacher pay.