Posts Tagged ‘federal issues’

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

House of Representatives Passes Department of Education Spending Bill

Apple, ruler and pencil on a desk with a backdrop of moneyThis week, the House of Representatives passed an omnibus appropriations bill, which included the funding for the Department of Education. The omnibus bill included seven spending bills; generally, the House and Senate prefer to pass the 12 appropriations bills, which largely fund the federal government, individually. However, a congested legislative calendar caused this course of action.

The omnibus bill proposes a 41% increase for the Department of Education, an unprecedented boast in spending. It also recommends significantly increasing the funding for many of the programs AACTE supports.

The Senate has not started its work on its appropriations bills and it is unclear if senators will support the funding increases provided for by the House. The annual spending bills must be signed into law by September 30, the end of the fiscal year. However, because the process is far behind schedule, Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution before then, which will fund the government at current levels (another option is to pass neither the appropriations bill nor a continuing resolution and allow the government to shut down, but that is unappealing to most members of congress).

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.

AACTE Applauds Passage of Department of Education Spending Bill

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee passage of the fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill:

“AACTE is deeply gratified to see such an historic investment in education, and particularly in educator preparation.  While our members have advocated for years, indeed decades, for such investments, this is the first time Congress has responded with such a robust bill.  These unprecedented increases will make a significant difference in addressing the long-term deficits in our nation’s education system. They will enable our nation to address the critical shortage of educators and the lack of diversity in our profession in transformative ways. AACTE urges Congress to pass this legislation and send it to President Biden for his signature as soon as possible.” 

Washington Update: Education Spending Bill and Changes to TEACH Grants

Graduation hat, dollar banknotes and coins on dark table. Pocket money concept

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 Faces Packed Summer Agenda

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 Will Sprint to the Fall with a Packed July Agenda

Rotunda, US Capitol Dome Statues Inside Washington DC  Painted by Constantino Burundi 1865  Resubmit--In response to comments from reviewer have further processed image to reduce noise, sharpen focus and adjust lighting.As we head into the final week of June, Congress is poised for an intense July. Between the upcoming July 4 recess and the coveted month-long August recess, there are only a few legislative weeks in which to complete action on critical measures to keep the wheels of the federal government in motion. This week, the House began marking up the first two (of 12 in total) appropriations bills. Many insiders report that the House is on track to pass most, if not all, of the appropriations bills in July. But the Senate is still lagging well behind with no set plans for markups or floor consideration. However, the markups and floor considerations of appropriations bills are just one piece of the larger, more complicated summer Congressional agenda.

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.

AACTE Applauds President Biden’s Budget Proposal

USA flag and American dollars. American flag blowing in the  wind and 100 dollars banknotes in the background.On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on President Joseph R. Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget:

“Today, President Biden let educators know that he has heard our voices loud and clear.  The unprecedented investments called for in his FY 22 budget proposal begin to redress the chronic inequities in our nation’s education system. With a new $20 billion Title I Equity grant, a $1 billion program to double mental health professionals in schools, and a significant increase in Pell grants, educators can envision a future where every student is on a pathway to success. The President’s budget reflects a full understanding of the crisis in our educator pipeline and recommends robust increases to address it. AACTE is thrilled to endorse President Biden’s vision and commitment to a fully equitable education system.  We are eager to work with Congress to make these requests a reality.”

A Congressional Success for Rural STEM Education

STEM education. Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. STEM concept with drawing background. Magnifying glass over education background.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation, endorsed by AACTE—the Rural STEM Education Research Act (HR 210.) The legislation supports research and development to increase access to STEM education opportunities in rural schools and to provide teachers with the resources they need to teach more effectively.

The bill also directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a prize competition to advance research and development of creative technologies for expanded broadband access. This bill further provides for assessments of Federal investments in rural STEM education to be conducted by the National Academies and the Government Accountability Office. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and passed the House with bipartisan support.  It is unclear if the Senate will approve the bill.

States Pass Laws Restricting How Teachers Can Discuss Racism

A seventh-grader walks by a Black History Month display at Sutton Middle School on her way to class.

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. 

States Placing Legal Limits on How Educators Can Address Race

On the heels of Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, backing two bills aimed at blocking the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools—four states have now passed legislation that would limit how teachers can discuss racism and  sexism, among other topics. The legislation, passed so far in Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, bans teachers from introducing certain concepts, including that any individual is consciously or unconsciously racist or sexist because of their race or sex, and that anyone should feel discomfort or guilt because of their race or sex. A similar law also passed in Arkansas. In total, lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills that seek to restrict how teachers can discuss racism, sexism, and other social issues.

AACTE Releases Toolkit to Help the Nation’s Schools Reopen

Educating the Future TodayPresident Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) in March, which includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. The ARP ESSER funds are intended to help state educational agencies and school districts safely reopen and address the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s students. AACTE has developed the Educating the Future, Today toolkit to help members navigate conversations with state or local education leaders, encouraging them to use ESSER funds to staff classrooms with teacher candidates. 

These funds provide a unique opportunity for school districts and educator preparation programs to address the teacher pipeline.  As the U.S. Department of Education’s noted in its COVID-19 Handbook, Volume 2: Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs, ARP ESSER funds can be used to staff classrooms with teacher candidates, thereby providing them with practical experience while helping alleviate the challenges teachers are encountering with the transition back to in person teaching.

PATHS to Tutor Act: Helping Students Overcome Pandemic Learning Loss

Tutor helping student

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

This thought leadership article is written by an AACTE member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has set back learning for millions of students and exacerbated existing educational inequalities countrywide. A recent study by McKinsey Analysis found that Black, Latinx and lower-income students are less likely to have access to high-quality remote learning, resulting in their falling further behind and expanding the achievement gap by 15% to 20%. To help these students overcome pandemic learning loss, the Partnering Aspiring Teachers with High-Need Schools (PATHS) to Tutor Act was introduced on February 25 by a bipartisan group, including Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Susan Collins (R-ME).

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