With Budget Deal Passed, Congress Hits the Road until September
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The Senate left town yesterday following on the heels of the House bringing the five-week summer recess into full bloom. Congress will reconvene in September, and thanks to the passage of the budget deal, move forward in adopting 12 appropriations bills, including one with education spending. However, obstacles remain.
Senate Passes Two Year Budget Deal; Funding Bills to Follow in September
Yesterday the Senate passed the $2.7 trillion two-year budget agreement – H.R. 3877 – and sent it to the White House where the President has said he will sign it. The agreement represents a $24.5 billion increase in spending for Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) spending, which includes education. The bill also includes a two-year extension of the debt ceiling (maximum the government can borrow). The House passed the bill last week.
The next hurdle is the divvying up of so-called “302-b” allocations. These are spending caps for each of the 12 appropriations bills, which the Senate will need to create and pass. Education advocates are hoping for a significant increase for the Labor/HHS/Education spending bill. These allocations are under discussion now. When they are agreed upon, the 12 funding bills will begin to move. It is possible that the Senate Labor/HHS appropriations subcommittee could mark up its bill the week of September 9 when the Senate reconvenes.
New Resources for Educators
- The Third Way is out with recommendations for accountability for higher education institutions and programs in relation to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act: See: https://www.thirdway.org/report/accountability-for-institutions-and-programs-striking-the-right-balance-in-hea
- The Fordham Institute issued Teachers Get Real about Discipline Reform, which reports on a survey of 1,200 teachers and finds that 41% report suspensions declining at their schools. Of those, only 23% were attributable to improved student behavior and 38% were attributable to a higher tolerance for misbehavior. Eighteen percent said underreporting by administrators is completely or mostly responsible for the decline and 48% said it’s somewhat responsible. See: https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/teachers-get-real-about-discipline-reform
- A new study published in Educational Researcher, an AERA Journal, found Latinos became more segregated in schools across the United States from 1998 to 2010. See: https://phys.org/news/2019-07-school-segregation-worsens-latino-children.html
- The Center for American Progress is out with a report documenting the lax protection of the civil rights of LGBTQ students under Sec. DeVos. See: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/reports/2019/07/29/472636/secretary-devos-failing-protect-civil-rights-lgbtq-students/
- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report and webinar on how to capitalize on the adolescent brain’s capacity to change. Titled The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, the report offers a range of recommendations including that children from disadvantaged households likely need more resources if society is to reduce disparities in educational outcomes. Among its recommendations: rectifying disparities in resources for the least-advantaged students, fostering culturally sensitive learning environments, and teaching practical skills such as decision-making, adaptability and psychosocial skills. See: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/BCYF/Adolescent-Development/index.htm
This Washington Update will be signing off until September when the Congress returns. Wishing you a wonderful summer that leaves you refreshed and reinvigorated and ready for the fall – where plenty of action awaits.
Continue reading the full Washington Update on my website to learn more.
See you on twitter @janewestdc!
AACTE Education Policy Consultant