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Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’

Stay Informed with January Federal Update Webinar

U.S. Capital and US flagA new year brings with it the start of the Second Session of the 116th Congress. The 2019 holiday season brought its own gift:  On December 20 of last year, the president signed into law the appropriations bills that funded programs important to the profession—and many programs saw increases.

What can we expect as the Fiscal Year 2021 process begins to unfold? Will the increases remain, are cuts possible? What impact(s) can we expect, if any, from the Impeachment Trial in the U.S. Senate? How will the election affect both appropriations and legislation? In addition, the Census is starting; are you ready to help with the count on campus?  This member exclusive webinar opportunity will cover these questions and also answer your questions in a Q & A session after the presentation.

Please note: there will be no webinars in February. Get your federal update live at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA. Hurry! Registration closes on January 24.

Plan to attend the January 2020 Update

Tuesday, January 28                        5:00 – 6:00 pm               Register

Wednesday, January 29                 12:30 – 1:30 pm               Register

WKU Announces $1 Million Grant to Boost Number of Special Education Professionals

This article originally appeared in Bowling Green Daily News and is reprinted with permission.

A federal grant award topping $1 million to Western Kentucky University will help address a shortage of special education professionals seen regionally and across Kentucky.

“The shortages are felt nationally, but definitely in an acute manner in our rural communities,” said WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Dean Corinne Murphy, whose college is heading up the effort called Project PREP, or Preparing Rural Educators and Professionals for Students with High-Intensity Needs.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education said there’s a shortage and a lack of diversity of fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers in public schools across the country.

What Can Education Advocates Expect from Washington in 2020?

U.S. Capitol

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.

Happy New Year!  Welcome to the new decade and the second session of the 116th Congress.  Can we even imagine what it holds for us? One thing we do know – our advocacy on behalf of equity and education will only amplify!

Funding Cycle for 2021: On Schedule?

With the ink barely dry on the FY 2020 funding packages, the budget cycle for FY 2021 is already on the horizon.  The Trump Administration announced this week that it intends to release its Budget Proposal for FY 2021 on February 10, thus getting the cycle moving on time. The release of the proposal will be followed by hearings in House and Senate Appropriations committees and months of deliberation.

Apply for a NSF Grant Opportunity to Improve STEM

National Science Foundation logoIn a Dear Colleague Letter, Karen Marrongelle of the National Science Foundation (NSF) invites proposals to the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources Program from institutions of higher education that are new to the program. The letter specifically includes the opportunity in the Engaged Student Learning track of “… improving K-12 STEM education through undergraduate preservice STEM teacher preparation …”

Marrongelle heads the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources , which supports “the development of a diverse and well-prepared workforce of scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematicians, and educators and a well-informed citizenry that have access to the ideas and tools of science and engineering.”

Congress Delivers Significant Increases for Education Spending

Diverse students in a circle hugging

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

Congress Delivers a Big Christmas Present – and On Time!

Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate came together to have bipartisan votes in both bodies to pass two packages of funding bills, which will keep all of the federal government running. President Trump has indicated that he will sign the bills today, thus preventing another government shutdown. 

Some key points about the education portion of the bill:

  • It adds $1.3 billion in spending for education over FY 2019.
  • The Department of Education’s budget now totals $72.8 Billion.
  • Virtually no program received a cut in funding and many received substantial increases.
  • The largest increases went to Title I ($450 million) and IDEA Part B ($400 million).
  • Related programs in HHS received large increases as well, for example Head Start has a $500 million increase.
  • A new Social Emotional Learning initiative received $123 million.
  • Many minority serving institutions in higher education received considerable increases including an $11 million increase for HBCU graduate institutions.
  • For the first time in years funding for research on gun violence prevention is provided at $25 million (for CDC and NIH).

FY2020 Appropriations Bills Released

BipartisanshipAs the Congress rapidly approaches the December 20 deadline for the Continuing Resolution (maintaining federal spending at the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) levels while the next year’s levels are negotiated), agreement was reached, and the two bills were released on December 16, 2019.  

The Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2019 raised the non-defense and defense discretionary caps for FY20 and FY21, and was signed in early August as recess began. Given that the U.S. Senate had taken a stance not to move any bills without the aforementioned agreement in place, their work began in earnest in September. However, the bills were not completed by the end of the fiscal year (September 30), so Congress passed a  Continuing Resolution (CR) through November 21, 2019. With consternation around key issues, including funding for the border wall, another CR was put in place through December 20, 2019. It was unclear if the divisions between both parties and both bodies could be resolved by the new cutoff date, but it appears that the Congress is on target to meet its deadline.

Bipartisan Christmas Miracles Come to Washington

Bipartisan agreement

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.

Funding Agreement on the Horizon! No Shutdown Anticipated

December 20, a week from today, is the deadline for Congress to pass funding bills to keep the government in business and avoid a government shutdown. After weeks of handwringing, a bipartisan $1.3 trillion deal seems to have been brokered whereby all appropriations bills will be passed in the House and the Senate next week. While no details of the bills are yet available, it appears that one of the breakthroughs was an agreement to keep the amount of funding for the border wall (President Trump’s priority) at the current level of $1.375 billion.

Education advocates are eager to see if any of the significant increases in the House bill will be retained in the final package. All fingers are crossed in anticipation of next week. Learn more.

Take the Pledge for Public Schools

Public Schools Week | Feb 24-28, 2020 | www.publicschoolsweek2020.comTo show support and help advocate for public schools in the United States, AACTE is inviting members to add your voice to the thousands of others vowing to stand up for students and schools. The Learning First Alliance (LFA) has launched the Pledge for Public Schools in preparation for Public Schools Week 2020, a national celebration for educators and parents to spotlight the successes of their students and local schools in communities across the nation, and to bring attention to the critical issues facing schools, students, and educators.

LFA reports that U.S. public schools educate 50.8 million students (nine of 10), regardless of ability, race, wealth, language, religion or country of origin. During Public Schools Week 2020, to be held February 24-28, 2020, advocates will take the thousands of pledges to Capitol Hill and state capitals across the country to illustrate to lawmakers how many people are supporting America’s public schools.

Once you take the pledge, LFA asks that you share on social media using the hashtag #PublicSchoolProud. More updates and events leading up to Public Schools Week will be announced at learningfirst.org/publicschoolsweek.

To learn more about LFA, visit learningfirst.org.

Congress Postpones Funding Showdown, Heads to Thanksgiving Recess

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

Last Thursday, Congress postponed the showdown over government funding until Dec. 20 and hit the road for Thanksgiving. They are planning some fancy footwork upon return as the impeachment process steams forward and a government shutdown remains a possibility.

Showdown over Government Funding Postponed until Dec. 20

Once again, the Congress has punted on funding the government. December 20 is the new deadline for determining overall spending levels for each of the 12 funding bills and completing them. Funding for education hangs in the balance with the House passed bill including a $5 billion increase, but no such increase in the Senate bill. The budget agreement adopted earlier in the year provides for an increase of about $100 billion for defense and domestic spending for this fiscal year. If Congress cannot agree on new funding levels, this new infusion of funds will be left on the drawing table.

Congress Makes Progress Toward Completing Education Funding Bill

A group of children drawing a hopscotch game on a floor with dollar signs.

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 Still Working to Avoid that Government Shutdown

The current continuing resolution—a bill that keeps the government temporarily funded – expires next week, on November 21. Congressional leaders have been scrambling this week to find a way to keep government funding extended beyond that time, and thus avoid a government shutdown. They appear to be closing in on another temporary funding extension—through December 20—predicated on progress on the big obstacle, which is agreeing on top line totals for each of the 12 funding bills. Since the House and Senate did not agree on those totals before they wrote their bills, there are significant discrepancies which can only be resolved by a House/Senate agreement on one figure for each bill.  This is critical for the bill that funds education, as the House bill is about $5 billion more generous for education than the Senate draft bill.

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