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Posts Tagged ‘funding’

Congress Comes Back to Town: Faces Unfinished Business

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.

 Money, Money Money … Follow the Money … to a Shutdown?

Congress does not officially reconvene until Monday, September 9.  They return to the challenge of funding the government before the end of the Fiscal year, September 30.  This means that in 13 legislative days the Senate would have to pass 12 separate funding bills, conference each one with the House and then secure President Trump’s signature on each one. What are the odds of that happening?  Well, I’m not really a betting person, but I’d say “zero.”

The House left town in August having passed its funding bills, including a very generous one for

ECS Profiles the School Funding Allocations of States

Apple, ruler and pencil on a desk with a backdrop of money

As states work to allocate funding for school districts, they must take into account the various needs and populations of the students they serve. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has developed a resource, “50-State Comparison: K-12 Funding” that helps clarify and compare each state’s school funding mechanisms, organized by method and category. 

Visit the ECS webpage to review data describing the funding mechanisms of the states as well as the specific funding allocations for a list of funding priorities, including special education, English language learning and at-risk and low-income students. 

As elementary and secondary teachers head back into their classrooms, conversations on teacher shortages, teacher salaries, and teacher strikes continue. Having an understanding of how your state funds its K-12 schools can help you support the schools in which your graduates will teach and engage in democracy on this critical issue. 

Register Today: September 2019 Federal Update Webinars

U.S. Capital

As AACTE members and their colleagues return to the classroom, Congress returns to Washington, D.C., after the August recess. It is a crowded agenda for the fall as discussions heat up around the 2020 Census and the election. The U.S. House of Representatives (House) has passed nearly all 12 of its appropriations bills, and the U.S. Senate (Senate) is poised to start the week of September 9, 2019.

This leaves us with several questions:

  • With 15 legislative days before the September 30 deadline, will any of the Senate bills be completed?
  • With a Continuing Resolution expected, will it go through November or December?
  • While the caps were raised for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, will the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill receive a sufficient increase to not only raise the NIH budget by $2b, but also maintain the increases the House appropriated to key programs that support the profession?
  • Beyond funding, what is the status of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act?

These questions and more will be covered in the AACTE September 2019 Federal Update webinars. To accommodate teaching schedules and time zones, this member exclusive update is offered on two different days and at two different times. In addition, the webinar is recorded and will be posted on AACTE’s Advocacy Center’s federal page. Use the links below to register today for the time that works best for you!

Tuesday, September 24, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Wednesday, September 25, 11:00 a.m. – 12 noon EDT

Washington Chapter’s Legislative Efforts Pay Off

The Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) is receiving the payoff from its long-term efforts working with the Washington Legislature. WACTE first hired a contract lobbyist in 2005, and their 14 years of work have made the chapter a significant voice in state education policy.

For instance, teacher shortage has largely been defined either broadly across states or regions, or anecdotally. Now, the state of Washington will attempt to refine the definitions and locations of shortages with a “collaborative” that includes WACTE as a member, following the group’s testimony and request for the designation during the recent legislative session.

This effort is part of a large, omnibus education bill passed by Washington lawmakers this year, which also includes a number of provisions from WACTE to attract more candidates to the teaching profession (Engrossed second substitute House Bill 1139).

Those provisions include $1 million per year in “teacher shortage grants” to enable

Federal Work Study Opportunity for Clinical Practice

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The U.S. Department of Education launched an Experimental Sites Initiative focused on the Federal Work Study (FWS) program. FWS is a need-based federal program that provides part-time jobs to students to supplement the financial assistance received from the Federal Pell Grant program and other aid sources. The Experimental Site Initiative for FWS waives several of the statutory and regulatory provisions, including that which would limit the number of hours a student could work, permitting full-time opportunities. 

With Budget Deal Passed, Congress Hits the Road until September

US Capitol on dramatic sunset gold background

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. 

Congress Heads Home with Bipartisan Accomplishment

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.

Congress is heading out of town—the House leaving today for a six-week recess and the Senate leaving at the end of next week. With the amazing budget deal headed for the finish line, September promises to be full of appropriations bills, including the education funding bill we’ve all been waiting for.

colorful waving national flag of united states of america on a american dollar money background. finance concept

Unbelievable:  Congress and the White House Make a Deal on 2 Year Budget Caps and Debt Ceiling

In a stunning proactive bipartisan move, the Congress and the White House have agreed to a two-year budget deal. This frees up all lawmakers and the president to focus on the 2020 elections without the threat of a government shutdown. Key features of the deal include the following: 

Deal Struck to Raise FY20 & FY21 Budget Caps

Graph showing the increase in non-defense Discretionary Spending caps for FY 2020 & 2021Energized by the need to raise the debt ceiling of the United States by early September, congressional leaders and the Administration struck a deal to raise the discretionary spending caps as established in the Budget Control Act of 2011 on July 22, 2019. In addition, the deal suspends the debt ceiling through July 2021, preventing the debt ceiling from being entangled in the 2020 election campaigning and the associated political maneuvering.

Known as the Bipartisan Budget Agreement for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, the proposed legislation still needs to pass the U.S. House of Representatives (House) and the U.S. Senate (Senate), both of which intend to take up the measure before the August recess. This sets the stage for the FY20 appropriations process to move forward, although there will be a Continuing Resolution (CR) passed before September 30 to give the House and Senate time to conference their bills. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not moved any of the 12 appropriations bills through the subcommittee and full committee process, and the House has passed 10 of the 12 bills. The House moved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) bill in a “minibus” that included the Defense bill—reminiscent of last year’s efforts that led to the two bills signed together into law before the end of the fiscal year. While the Senate Appropriations Committee currently intends to move both Labor-H and Defense bills together through their process, it is unclear if this will be maintained based on the budget deal. The deal does specify that the Congress shall avoid an omnibus, a bill that includes all 12 appropriations bills with no stance on minibuses illuminated.

This deal sets the defense discretionary cap at $667 billion for FY20 and $672 billion for FY21 and sets the non-defense discretionary cap at $622 billion for FY20 and $627 billion for FY21. This means we can expect a tight year in FY21 given the small increase of $5 billion over FY20 for non-defense discretionary funding.

For now, the next step to watch is the allocation of funding to each of the 12 appropriations bills in the Senate. The Labor-H bill contains approximately 33% of the non-defense discretionary, but it has never received 33% of the increased funding. The allocation will determine if the Senate keeps any of the increases that the House passed to programs important to the profession, including the Teacher Quality Partnership grant program, the Special Education Personnel Preparation grant program, and Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Registration Open: July 2019 Federal Update Webinar

Capital Rotunda and US flag

As Congress rolls into August recess, what is on the “must do” list for September and beyond? Will a budget deal emerge to raise the caps on both defense and non-defense discretionary funds? Could the government default on its debt, or will Congress raise the debt ceiling? What about the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations deadline of September 30? Is the government going to shut down? Is the Higher Education Act reauthorization in motion or stalled, and what does either one mean for fall congressional activity?

These questions and more will be explored in this AACTE member exclusive webinar. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end. This webinar will be recorded and posted on the AACTE Advocacy Center federal page.

Register today!

July 30, 2019      5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT                      

July 31, 2019      11:00 a.m. – 12 noon EDT            

Note: Like the Congress, AACTE Federal Update Webinars is taking an August recess. Watch for the blog post announcing the September Federal Update Webinars for dates and times. 

Congress is in for a Long Summer

Early morning traffic near the U.S. Capital
Congress came back to Washington this week with a boatload of work to do in the short few weeks before the next recess, in August. It could be a long hot summer.

First up: Budget and Funding

When Congress left for July 4 recess, the House had passed almost all of the 12 required funding bills and the Senate had not begun with any of the 12 bills. September 30 marks the end of the fiscal year; without the new spending bills signed into law, a government shutdown will be in the offing. With Congress scheduled to be in recess most of August, the pressure is on.

The holdup is the budget—or the overall spending cap, which the House, the Senate, and the White House must agree to pass. While the House adopted its own budget caps, they are higher than those that the Senate or the White House will accept. Added to the mix is the pending need to raise the debt ceiling (this is the borrowing limit for the federal government, which routinely needs to be raised to avoid default). Thus, the pressure is on from three corners: budget, FY 2020 funding bills, and debt ceiling.  These three dire needs are in the mix together and there is an effort to wrap their resolution into one package—possibly before the August recess. Learn more.

Senate Confirms New Higher Education Leader for Department of Education

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