Last week Congress avoided a possible shutdown of the federal government when it approved and sent to President Trump a consolidated appropriations bill (H.R. 244) to fund public education and other federal programs throughout the remainder of federal Fiscal Year 2017, which runs through Sept. 30. The so-called “omnibus” bill (H.R. 244) was passed by the House of Representatives on a vote of 309-118 and by the U.S. Senate on a vote of 79-18. It was signed into law by President Trump on May 5.
Overall, in the education area, the FY 2017 omnibus bill, makes net cuts of about $1.1 billion, but provides a more than a $1 billion increase compared with comparable 2016 funding levels for Title I grants for disadvantaged students, special education, Impact Aid, and student support programs under Title IV (ESSA). The text of the bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education is available here. Continue reading President Signs Spending Bill to Fund Federal Government Thru Sept. 30
The U.S. Department of Education faces a 13.5 percent cut ($9.2 billion) under the Trump administration federal budget blueprint released today, a plan that also boosts charters and vouchers and calls for certain federal funds targeted to aid the education of low-income students to follow children who move from one public school to another.
The Washington Post reports that the so-called “skinny budget” plan would downsize or eliminate a raft of grant programs, including grants for teacher training and after-school and summer programs, among others. The cuts, among the steepest the agency has ever sustained, would be coupled with a historic investment — $1.4 billion — in charter schools, private schools and other school-choice initiatives. Continue reading Trump Administration Budget Plan Slashes Education Department, Boosts Charters and Vouchers
The WASB’s Executive Committee (President Stu Olson, Vice President Terry McCloskey, 2nd Vice President Mary Jo Rozmenoski and Immediate Past President Wanda Owens), Executive Director John Ashley, and lobbyists Dan Rossmiller and Chris Kulow met this week with Wisconsin’s Congressional offices to discuss federal funding and legislation impacting Wisconsin schools.
Continue reading WASB Reaches Out To Our Congressional Representatives
On Wednesday (May 18), the U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce voted to advance a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, the federal law governing school meals programs. The version advanced by the House committee rolls back some of the healthy schools meal standards First Lady Michelle Obama has championed. It was approved on a largely partisan 20 to 14 vote (one Republican and all Democrats voting against).
Continue reading House Committee Approves Rewrite of Federal School Meals Laws
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced today that he is pulling out of the race to succeed retiring House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). McCarthy made his surprise announcement at the start of a Republican meeting convened to choose the party’s nominee.
In the wake of McCarthy’s surprise announcement, a Republican vote to nominate a new speaker that was scheduled for Thursday afternoon was postponed by Boehner at McCarthy’s suggestion. The full House was scheduled to vote for speaker Oct. 29. Boehner said in a statement he will stay on as speaker until a new one is elected.
Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan said in a statement that Republicans need to “take time to deliberate and seek new candidates for the speakership.” Continue reading House Majority Leader McCarthy Pulls Out of House Speaker Race
From the National School Boards Association (NSBA):
NSBA Urges Congress to Reauthorize ESEA
NSBA and nine national education organizations urged Congress to complete the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and to send a final bill to the President by the end of this year. The groups forwarded a letter to Chairman John Kline (D-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, which stressed the importance of a modernized law that will “ultimately focus on delivering the high-quality education that all our children deserve.”
The coalition letter states that, “We know that Congress has a busy agenda this Fall, but Congress must not lose focus on the needs of our nation’s students. ESEA re-authorization cannot wait.” Continue reading Federal Update: NSBA Urges Congress to Reauthorize ESEA