Author Archive

Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Draft Labor-HHS-Education Bill

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.

This week marked the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This landmark civil rights legislation represents the promise of inclusion and access for individuals with disabilities across our nation. While our country has made significant progress since the law was signed over three decades ago- there is more work to do to live up to the promise of ADA.

Senate Appropriations Committee Releases Draft FY2023 Funding Bills

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposed Democratic fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding bills along with an explanatory statement and summary for each bill. The explanatory statement comes in lieu of a Committee Report and explains the intent behind the funding values and includes an overview and descriptions of each account, list of earmarks, and a programmatic funding table at the end. The Senate bills won’t be marked up, but they will serve as a starting point for negotiations in the fall.

Department of Education Releases New Discipline Guidance for Students with Disabilities

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.

Time is winding down in Congress as Members prepare for the summer recess. While there is always much to be done- we don’t expect much movement on FY2023 appropriations until the fall.  As always, your voice at the table is imperative to ensuring investments in the special educator and specialized instructional support personnel workforce remain at the forefront.

New Federal Initiatives Address Pandemic Learning Loss

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.

This week, the 87th biennial American Federation of Teachers (AFT) convention is taking place in Boston, where the city will welcome more than 3,000 members and leaders of the labor group. Today, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will address the AFT with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey scheduled to take the stage as well. The AFT convention comes as districts across the nation are beginning to prepare for a return to school in the fall while in the midst of a critical shortage of educators and specialized instructional support personnel. An all-hands-on-deck approach will be needed, which includes comprehensive, full preparation coupled with support from federal, state, and local governments in order to address this crisis.

House Committee Approves Labor-HHS-Education Funding Bill

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.

While I typically break from Washington Update during Congressional recess, I am excited to share that last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill on a 32 to 24 vote.

The bill provides $242.1 billion, an increase of $28.5 billion or 13% above 2022 funding levels. While significant advocacy work to get this across the finish line remains- the Appropriations Committee’s approval marks a great step in securing historic increases for education funding at the federal level. Your voices are being heard!

Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Proposed FY2023 Labor-Education-HHS Funding

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.

All eyes were on Washington Friday morning as news broke that the Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe. V. Wade. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued a statement:

Dept. of Education Sends Aid to Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District

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.

This week, the House Appropriations Committee has been busy marking up the first 6 of 12 government funding bills for FY2023. The process is expected to be almost, if not completely, partisan. In the upper chamber, the Senate Appropriations has not reached an agreement on how much to spend on defending and non-defense discretionary funding, ultimately delaying forward movement. 

Secretary Cardona Lays Out Vision to Support Teachers, Elevate the Profession

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.

This week Congress is back in session and we have learned that the House has set the schedule for marking up FY2023 bills this month. Reports signal that on June 22, the House will approve the 12 subcommittee allocations, meaning they will set the mark for the total amount each subcommittee will have to work from. On June 30, starting at 10 a.m. EST the Committee will mark up the Labor-HHS-Education bill. It is sure to be a busy summer as advocates continue to urge Members to make significant investments in education- specifically investments targeted to address the critical shortage of educators and specialized instructional support personnel across the nation.

Secretary Cardona Testifies Before House Education and Labor Committee, Defends Priorities

 

U.S. Department of Education logoThis 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. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and were able to spend time with family and friends to unofficially kick off the summer and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

President Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden spent part of their holiday weekend in Uvalde, Texas to grieve with the community following the horrific act of gun violence that left 19 children and two teachers dead, and several others injured. The massacre in Texas comes just days after an 18-year-old man shot 13 people, killing 10 at a supermarket in the heart of a predominately Black community in Buffalo. Since the start of 2022 there have been 27 school shootings with injuries or deaths. Since the tragedy in Uvalde, less than one week ago, there have been 14 mass shootings across the U.S. Memorial Day weekend alone — spanning Saturday, Sunday, and the federal holiday on Monday- there have been at least 11 mass shootings.

Following the news of the senseless act of violence in Uvalde, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spent the week begging his GOP colleagues to consider a bill that would strengthen background checks on those seeking to buy guns. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) did the same. Senator Murphy was in office in 2012 when a gunman killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He took to the Senate floor on Tuesday evening, pleading with Members of Congress to act now on gun reform.

Attend House Subcommittee Virtual Hearing ‘Tackling Teacher Shortage’ on May 25

 

 

Student and Teacher in classroom wearing masks

See you on Twitter @brennan_kait!

Do you have a question about Washington Update? Want more information? Email me, and let’s have a virtual coffee break: kaitlynbrennan88@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Department of Education Solicits Public Input on Amending Section 504

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.  

After 45 years, the Department of Education has announced plans to update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Stay tuned for opportunities to provide feedback to stakeholders on what you would like to see. Take a read for more information on that and more below.

Department of Education Announces Plan to Update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education announced plans to update Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The forthcoming changes will mark the first update to the regulations in 45 years. The Department’s Section 504 regulations were the first set of regulations issued by the federal government that addressed the treatment of people with disabilities through a civil rights framework, rather than through solely a medical or vocational framework. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public and private programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including schools and postsecondary institutions.

“While the world has undergone enormous changes since 1977, the Department’s Section 504 regulations have remained, with few exceptions, unaltered,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “As we observe the 45th anniversary of these important regulations this month, it is time to start the process of updating them. Just as in 1977, the voices of people with disabilities must be heard and incorporated as we engage in that work.”

Conversations About Federal Student Loans, Grants and More

The Conversation Surrounding Student Loan Forgiveness Continues 

Young male college student holding a sign of student loan

Young male college student holding a sign of student loan

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.  

Last week, the White House signaled that President Biden is considering taking steps towards student loan forgiveness for people making less than $125,000 per year. “The President talked back on the campaign about taking steps, or looking at steps, to help people making less than $125,000 a year,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “So that is the frame through which he’s considering making considerations at this point.”

In April of 2020  while on the campaign trail, President Biden released a plan to, “forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities for debt-holders earning up to $125,000 with appropriate phase-outs to avoid a cliff.”

Just last week the President said that he was considering  canceling “some” amount of federal student loan debt but ruled out demands to forgive as much as $50,000 per borrower. “I am considering dealing with some debt reduction,” The President said in remarks at the White House. “I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction.”

Washington Update: A Flurry of Activity on Capitol Hill

Capitol building Washington DC sunlight USA US congressThis 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.  

Congress may have been on recess for the past two weeks, but it certainly did not feel like that behind the scenes. There has been a flurry of activity surrounding the President’s FY2023 Budget Request. Education advocates are working diligently to get their appropriations requests to Members — hopeful to see historic increases for education funding making it across the finish line. 

The Debate over Student Loan Forgiveness Continues as the Department Cancels $238 Million in Debt for 28,000 Borrowers

On Thursday, President Biden confirmed  reports that he is considering canceling “some” amount of federal student loan debt. “I am considering dealing with some debt reduction,” The President said in remarks at the White House. “I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction.”

Members of Congress Call for Affordable Child Care, Expanded Access to Pre-K

Group of happy boys and girls in kindergarten holding color cardboard shapes and looking at cameraThis 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.  

It was a busy and historic week in Washington as Members of Congress prepare to head back to home states and districts for the upcoming two-week spring recess. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Justice Jackson is the first Black woman in United States history to serve in such a role. Earlier this week, the National Education Association (NEA) joined a coalition of 27 labor unions calling for the confirmation of Justice Jackson to the Supreme Court. In a statement the coalition notes:

White House Unveils FY2023 Budget Proposal

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. 

The White House in Washington DC with beautiful blue skyThe Biden-Harris Administration FY2023 Budget Proposal is here and again provides substantial increases for education funding. Your voices are being heard.

 Biden-Harris Administration Unveils FY2023 Budget Proposal

On Monday the White House unveiled the complete version of the Biden-Harris Administration’s full budget proposal for FY2023. The proposal comes just weeks after the President signed into law the $1.5 trillion FY2022 omnibus spending bill, avoiding a full year continuing resolution at the FY2021 levels.

The budget proposal calls for $88.3 billion in discretionary funding to the Department of Education- a $12.9 billion or 17% increase over the 2022 net enacted level.

Cardona Urges LEAs to Consider Students with Disabilities When Lifting COVID-19 Mandates

Front view of schoolboy looking at camera while sitting at desk in school  against school kids in backgroundThis 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.    

We have received confirmation that the president will release his budget request on Monday, March 28 — signaling the official “kick-off” to the FY2023 appropriations season. Advocates are anxiously awaiting to see the line item requests for the Department of Education and will work diligently in the coming months to secure meaningful investments to address the critical shortage of educators and lack of diversity across the field. Stay tuned for more details to come in next week’s Washington Update.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Urges LEAs to Recognize the Critical Importance of Supporting Students with Disabilities

This week, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent an eight page letter to school district officials and parents urging LEAs to recognize the critical importance of supporting students with disabilities. The document comes as many districts are rolling back their COVID-19 mitigation efforts following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The letter is intended to help school district personnel and families design learning opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. The document reviews key strategies, including Leveraging the IEP or Section 504 Processes to Ensure Protections are In Place to Protect In-Person Learning; Continuing Use of Layered Prevention Strategies to Keep School Communities Safe; and Ensuring Students Receive Education and Services in the Least Restrictive Environment.

AACTE Tools

Follow Us