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Congress Reconvenes with Lots at Stake for Education

Clock and American currency. Time is money conceptThis blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Members of Congress are in a Race Against the Clock with Critical Deadlines Looming this Fall 

Members of Congress are in a race against the clock to get four major pieces of legislation passed and ultimately to keep the government running. The big four are the bi-partisan infrastructure bill, the reconciliation bill, a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, and legislation to raise the debt ceiling to avoid the government from heading into default on its obligations.

The first bill, the bi-partisan infrastructure bill, passed the Senate before the August recess. It is now up to the House to act. However, the bill’s progress is tied to the fate of the second bill—reconciliation (which is a Democrat only initiative)—which is described further below. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised Democrats that she will hold a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27. She also pledged to approve the partisan reconciliation bill—a $3.5 trillion plan for social programs (including education)—in conjunction with the bi-partisan infrastructure bill. By tying those two bills together she is hoping to keep her caucus on the same page, with both moderates and liberals supporting them both.

House Marks Up Proposed Build Back Better Act

Signing paperwork with a fountain paperwork. The image has added grain and styling.This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The following is an interim update on the big development in the House this week—the Committee on Education and Labor’s markup of the long-awaited Reconciliation bill, which features significant investments in the educator workforce.  

The House Education and Labor Committee Begins Mark Up on Reconciliation Proposal 

As you will recall, several months ago President Biden proposed two significant investments in the nation’s infrastructure—both human and physical: the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. The human infrastructure component is now being developed by Congress, in the form of a reconciliation bill. Yesterday, the House Education and Labor Committee began to mark up its portion of the reconciliation proposal. The 289 page proposal, with a $761 billion price tag—otherwise known as the Build Back Better Act—is part of the larger $3.5 trillion proposal.

As described by the Committee, the proposal would lower costs for families, secure good-paying jobs for American workers, and set a strong foundation of America’s children. The three major education programs in the bill include Universal Pre-K, Tuition-Free Community College, and Child Care.

Momentum in Congress Pushes Funding and Infrastructure Bills Forward

Graduation mortar board cap on one hundred dollar bills concept for the cost of a college and university education

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.  

This week, Members of the House of Representatives completed debate on a seven-bill appropriations package, which includes the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. As you will recall, the bill includes a 41% increase for the Department of Education, bringing the total to $102.8 billion. 

Nearly 200 amendments were filed to the FY2022 Labor-HHS Education bill with 15 education amendments taken up for debate. Three of the amendments added relatively small amounts of funding to programs, but these increases were offset by equal or larger cuts to Departmental Management.  The result of the combined amendments cuts the total Department of Education funding by less $89,000. The funding changes include

Congress on a Mad Dash Before August Recess

U.S. currency under graduation cap

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.  

It’s hard to believe we are already approaching the end of July. Congress is feeling the pressure, like the night before your paper is due and you haven’t started it yet. 

House Committee Appropriations Bill Delivers Home Run for Ed Prep

Capitol building Washington DC sunlight USA US congress

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. 

It’s been a week for celebration for education advocates. The House Appropriations Committee delivered on President’ Biden’s goal of a 41% increase for education for next year.  This unprecedented investment is beyond gratifying. It feels like the decades of advocating that we have all been engaged in has really paid off! We still have a long way to go, but we are out of the gate with great momentum!

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY2022 Education Spending Bill

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The Committee voted in favor of the bill by vote of 33 to 25,  a party line vote. No substantial amendments were made to any education provisions during the full committee markup.

Washington Update: Education Spending Bill and Changes to TEACH Grants

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House Appropriations Committee Set to Move on Education Spending Bill

While many Members of the Senate traveled home this week for a scheduled state work period, Members of the House of Representatives kept things moving on Capitol Hill setting funding levels for the FY2022 appropriations bills.

The House Appropriations Committee voted on allocations for each of the FY2022 appropriations measures which are moving through the House with hopes of meeting the September 30 deadline. Referred to as 302(b) allocations—these numbers reflect how much money is available for each of the 12 appropriations bills. Essentially, this is the House Democrats’ opening offer for proposed funding levels for FY2022. The Senate has not yet taken a position on 302(b) allocations for their versions of the bills and that could delay movement down the road.

Congress Moves Forward on Education Funding for FY 2022

Capitol building Washington DC sunlight USA US congressThis blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.  

Congress Cranks into Gear to Move Budget and Appropriations Bills 

This week, education advocates were pleased to learn that the Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Subcommittee in the House will be marking up their FY 2022 spending bill on July 12.  This represents the first significant move toward the September 30 finish line when new funding levels need to be determined.  Education advocates are holding their breath, hoping to see the massive education spending investments requested by President Biden reflected in the House bill. His request includes a 41% increase for the Department of Education and significant new investments to address issues in the teacher pipeline, including unprecedented increases in funding for educator preparation programs.

Lawmakers Continue to Politicize Teaching About Racism

Poster like illustration about Black and White race relations using words and icons as design elements to show some of the issues that arise when racial harmony or discord are discussed.

This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. 

The Attack on Critical Race Theory Continues 

In a Washington Update last month, we offered a distressing summary of how the teaching of our nation’s racial history has been thrown into the heart of the political arena. Unfortunately, the trend is continuing and gaining traction. Last week, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee,  announced her support for two bills intended to block the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools. This week Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced a resolution condemning the use of critical race theory in K-12 schools and teacher preparation programs. “Critical race theory has no place in American schools,” Blackburn said in a statement. “This resolution is an important step to prevent the far left from pushing their radical political agenda in our classrooms.”

Biden Budget Proposal is Historic High-Water Mark for Education Funding

Medal for achievement in education with diploma, hat and books standing on stack of coins on gray backgroundThis blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. 

Biden- Harris Administration Unveils Massive Budget with Historic Investments in Education

On the Friday before the long-awaited Memorial Day holiday, just as Members of Congress were headed home and the rest of us were finalizing our plans for the long weekend, the White House unveiled the complete version of the Biden-Harris Administration’s full budget proposal for FY 2022.

The budget proposal calls for $102.8 billion for the Department of Education—a $29.8 billion or 41% increase to the Department’s current spending levels. This increase in funding would be the largest increase the Department has seen since its inception in 1979.

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