Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’
Education funding is at risk of devastating cuts if Congress cannot reach a budget deal that raises the caps on federal spending for Fiscal Year 2018. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reform, tax reform, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) are all items vying for attention on an overcrowded congressional agenda.
With so many issues facing Congress, the need for the profession to stay informed is more important than ever. To keep up to date with all the latest information, please join AACTE for one of the October Federal Update webinars.
A new study from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest has reaffirmed many of the challenges related to recruiting and retaining educators in rural areas. The report, Indicators of Successful Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Oklahoma Rural School Districts (download PDF here), examines data spanning a decade in Oklahoma districts, more than 70% of which are rural.
The analysis finds that two key influences on teacher retention are compensation and teachers’ level of responsibility at their school. Numerous other factors affecting retention are catalogued in the appendices of the report, organized into categories of teacher, district, and community-based variables. Educator preparation programs that collaborate with rural districts may want to review the study’s findings for insights that might be applied to their own local challenges.
The American Council on Education, the major coordinating association for our nation’s colleges and universities, is leading the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition, of which AACTE is a member. The coalition is coordinating a week of advocacy efforts beginning today, October 16, and has developed a website providing multiple resources related to Dreamers, including fact sheets and talking points, which can be used by individual campuses for advocacy.
In addition, the coalition is leading a letter that your institution can sign on to – but time is tight. The deadline is Wednesday, October 18, at noon EDT. To have your institution sign on to the letter, please reach out to your president’s office as well as your government relations staff. Find the instructions here.
As Congress returned from August recess, its agenda included a laundry list of items, and it is shaping up to be a very busy fall on Capitol Hill. Budget and appropriations, hurricane relief, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Higher Education Act reauthorization, and tax reform are just some of the issues that will fill the congressional calendar. For many of these topics, the voice of the education profession will be an important perspective for your members of Congress to hear.
Follow these three steps to ensure your constituent voice is heard:
As part of continued efforts to provide relief for hurricane-affected regions, the U.S. Department of Education this week issued guidance to outline flexibility in reporting deadlines, grant-funded activities, continuity planning for disrupted programs, and fiscal management efforts. This guidance applies to state and local education agencies, Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools, postsecondary institutions, and other Department grantees.
Institutions affected by the recent hurricanes are highly encouraged to review the guidance, particularly if your program receives funding from a federal grant, receives federal student financial aid, or if you have other general questions regarding postsecondary education relief.
This month’s members-only Federal Update webinars are today and tomorrow, September 19 and 20 – or just view the recording in our archive if you miss them! The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Over the summer of 2017, I integrated a valuable new asset into my doctoral-level Critical Policy Analysis class: advocacy resources from AACTE. From the members-only webinars to downloadable advocacy guides, these materials informed my students’ discussion of policy items pertinent to not only Illinois but the nation at large. They also provided current, practical information and tools for students to become more engaged in advocacy outside of class.
By October 2, the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) is seeking input from the field on its requirements related to efficacy, replication, and effectiveness studies.
The impetus of the feedback request follows recommendations provided from a technical working group that was assembled in October 2016. IES seeks to understand whether the current Goals 3 and 4 (out of its full list of five) are meeting the needs of the field or whether modifications would be beneficial to replication and effectiveness studies. Goal 3 addresses efficacy and replication studies, and Goal 4 supports independent evaluation of prior efficacy studies.
On September 6, AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“The decision by President Trump yesterday to end the DACA policy leaves the plight of these individuals – who are integrated into our schools, our institutions of higher education, our workforce, and our communities – in the hands of the Congress.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED), along with relevant federal and state agencies, hosted a webinar last week to provide emergency-response resources to districts and schools serving hurricane-affected regions.
Officials on the webinar included representatives from ED, the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and state education officials in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. The webinar largely focused on the requirements in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which outlines the procedures for identifying homeless students and the resources schools must make available to homeless students.
House and Senate Move on Education Funding Bills
Congress returned from August recess and hit the ground running on its work funding the federal government as the September 30 deadline looms.
U.S. House of Representatives Action
You might recall that the House passed four appropriations bills as a single package at the end of July. The House determined it would move the eight remaining appropriations bills to the floor as a single package – including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) bill – immediately after August recess. A call for amendments went out in early August.