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President Trump Releases FY19 Budget Request

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On February 12, President Trump released his Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget request to fund the federal government. Similar to the previous request, this plan cuts 29 education programs while carving out space and funds for new programs focusing on choice opportunities.

In a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary Betsy DeVos lauded the request for “expanding education freedom for America’s families while protecting vulnerable students.”

According to the Department’s fact sheet, the president’s education budget features six major themes:

  • Providing better choices for more families to attend a high-quality school.
  • Supporting high-quality special education services to children with disabilities.
  • Creating new and alternative pathways to successful careers for students.
  • Promoting innovation and reform around STEM education.
  • Implementing school-based opioid abuse prevention strategies.
  • Making the Department more efficient while limiting the Federal role in education.

Government Shutdown, DACA, HEA, Tax Reform – Catch Up on the Latest From Washington!

Did you miss the January AACTE Federal Update webinar? The recording and slides are now available in AACTE’s Resource Library – a free, member-exclusive benefit! Catch up on all the latest developments in Washington, DC, as Congress works through a packed and polarizing agenda this month. Feel free to share these resources with colleagues at your institution who might also be interested in viewing.

Remember, there will be no February Federal Update webinar (we will resume again in March!), as you’ll have the opportunity to attend two Washington Update sessions in early March at AACTE’s 70th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. You’ll also want to attend Deborah Koolbeck’s “advocacy speed-dating” session March 2, where you can participate in your choice of five mini advocacy trainings:

What’s Up in Washington? Join AACTE’s Federal Update Webinar

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The clock is ticking on what appears to be an imminent federal government shutdown, unless a last-minute deal is struck on a short-term funding solution (continuing resolution) through either next week or February 16. Republicans and Democrats are facing off on numerous issues.

What’s causing this logjam? Challenges range from settling on a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, increasing defense spending, deferring some healthcare tax provisions, extending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and raising spending caps (aka “a budget deal”). What’s also coming in February is the need to raise the debt ceiling. Looking forward, we could see more action on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act through the spring.

December Federal Update Webinar Recording Now Available

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Did you miss last week’s Federal Update webinar? AACTE members can log in now to view the recording here.

An overcrowded agenda is staring down members of Congress as they prepare to leave for the winter recess. Items such as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), tax reform, a budget deal, disaster relief, and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) are items requiring policy makers’ attention before they leave Washington. In the midst of this activity, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce introduced the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” which is the House Republican bill that would reauthorize the Higher Education Act.

Congress Reaches Agreement on Tax Reform, Plans to Vote This Week

On Friday, December 15, members of the U.S. Congress unveiled a conference report on tax reform, resolving differences between the House and Senate bills.

Full text of the conference report, which is nearly 1,100 pages long, can be found here. For those who want to go into the weeds, a joint explanatory statement, which describes current law, the House and Senate provisions, and what is in the conference agreement, can be found here.

White House Releases Higher Education Reauthorization Principles

On the same day that Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) released her Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Trump Administration released a set of principles for HEA reauthorization.

The White House document (see PDF here) reveals five broad goals and eight policy principles for consideration as the reauthorization process begins in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Education and the Workforce committee is expected to move the bill forward starting the week of December 4. On the U.S. Senate side, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has stated that HEA reauthorization will be a priority for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee next year.

House HEA Bill Would Repeal Title II, End TEACH Grants

On December 1, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce released their bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. H.R. 4508, the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity though Education Reform (PROSPER) Act,” would change or repeal aspects of the current law.

While we are still analyzing the bill, here are few key provisions that would affect educator preparation:

NEA Releases Analysis of House Tax Bill

Today the National Education Association (NEA) released an analysis of the U.S. House tax reform bill, H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” to project the impact on PK-12 education of the elimination of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction for individuals (the tax plan permits corporations to keep this deduction).

In a press release, the NEA highlighted the potential effect of this single elimination: “The impact of eliminating SALT on public education is nearly equal to the education jobs lost during the Great Recession. By most accounts, the country lost about 300,000 education jobs during that time.”

Sign Up for Member-Exclusive Federal Update Webinars in November, December

As the tax reform debate wages on in Congress, and as many other items linger on the agenda, there is much to accomplish in Washington by the year’s end. Many of the items will have an impact on the education community. Let AACTE help unpack and process some of the latest developments for you by joining our free, members-only November and December Federal Update webinars.

To accommodate busy end-of-year schedules and various time zones, AACTE offers each webinar at two different dates and times. Click on your preferred date/time below to register.

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