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Senate Strikes Efforts to Overturn Rules on Allocating Federal Funds to Charter Schools

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

On Friday afternoon President Biden signed a short-term funding bill, otherwise known as a continuing resolution or CR, that will keep the government open and funded through December 23. The CR keeps the government open and freezes funding levels at their FY22 levels while appropriators finalize a deal for the FY23 spending bill. Stay tuned as we now have one final busy week in Washington before Members of Congress break for the holiday.

Senate Shuts Down Resolution to Overturn New Rules on how the Department Allocates Federal Funds to Charter Schools

On Wednesday, the Senate struck down a GOP effort to overturn the Biden-Harris Administration’s new governance rules on how the Department of Education allocates federal funding to charter schools. The resolution, S.J. Res. 60 would have blocked Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s overhaul of the rules on how charter schools apply for federal funds. In May, Democratic Senators Booker (D-NJ), Feinstein (D-CA), and Bennet (D-CO) joined with Republicans in voicing their opposition to the Administration’s initial proposal. But, on Wednesday a 49-49 vote along party lines shut down the legislation from moving forward. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that the Administration’s rules “hamstring charter schools and leave them more reliant on government bureaucracies.” Democrats for their part defended the rules with Chairwoman of the HELP Committee Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) saying that the GOP resolution would “undermine simple accountability measures” that are in place to ensure federal charter school funds are spent properly.

 Professional Learning Opportunity

The Learning Policy Institute in collaboration with AASA, The School Superintendents Association; Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning; and Science of Learning & Development Alliance will host a webinar entitled Whole Child Policy: Transforming Learning Environments on January 18, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST. This webinar will take a deep dive into actions states can take to transform learning environments based on the science of learning and development, including creating safe and inclusive, relationship-centered classrooms and schools. Experts and state leaders will discuss these and other essential approaches to creating whole child environments, such as adopting restorative practices and building integrated student support systems. To learn more and register, visit the Learning Policy Institute website.

With Congress poised to pass the FY23 budget next week, I will likely be back in your inbox (hopefully with some good news) one last time before I break for the holiday.

Until next time, see you on Twitter! Kait @brennan_kait


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