- The U.S. House of Representatives voted today (Thursday May 4) to approve a bill to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act (a/k/a “Obamacare”) with new legislation known as the American Health Care Act (ACHA). The measure was passed on a 217-213 vote.
Among other things, the ACHA would make profound changes to the state-federal partnership program known as Medicaid or Medical Assistance, including reducing by $880 billion over the next 10 years the amount of Medicaid dollars the federal government sends to states. These changes would significantly impact the ability of students with disabilities and students in poverty to receive critically necessary health services in public schools. The changes would require schools to compete for limited Medicaid funding, which would likely result in arbitrary caps on the amount of Medicaid reimbursements made to public schools.
Continue reading U.S. House Passes Obamacare Repeal Bill, Deep Cuts to Medicaid Will Impact Special Education
Federal Judge Amos Mazzant, of the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction Nov. 22 that delays implementation of a regulation set to take effect next week, on Dec. 1, that would raise the salary threshold under which many workers qualify for overtime. The injunction will remain in place while the Court determines the U.S. Department of Labor’s authority to impose the rule and the rule’s validity.
Under the new standard most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year must receive time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours during a week. That’s more than double the current salary threshold for overtime eligibility of $23,660. There are concerns that this 100% increase in the salary threshold and the accelerated implementation of the requirement exceeds the fiscal capacity of many school districts. Continue reading Court Blocks New Federal Overtime Rule
Update from NSBA: Education Week reports that on Thursday the U.S. House Education Committee unanimously approved re-authorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act, through the vehicle “The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” Committee members “praised the bill for its efforts to better align CTE programs with the economy, focus more program efforts on disadvantaged students, and for increasing both transparency and accountability of these programs.”
Continue reading Bipartisan Federal Career & Technical Education Bill Approved By Committee
McClatchyDC reports on Secretary John King’s Wednesday appearance before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, at which Republicans “strongly criticized” him for having “failed to follow the intent” of ESSA. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Richard Burr (R-NC) were quoted saying that the bill was clear in its language and the department was not following it.
Continue reading Education Secretary Defends ESSA Implementation Before Senate Committee
In previous postings, we have detailed the work of the negotiating committee that has been engaged in trying to reach consensus on new regulations to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). State Supt. Tony Evers is among the committee’s members.
This post provides an overview of last week’s meetings. Successive posts will describe committee’s meetings from last week in greater detail. Continue reading ESSA Rulemaking Gets Contentious
Education Week reports South Dakota lawmakers recently approved a “half-penny sales-tax increase…designed to boost teacher salaries,” the “centerpiece of a bipartisan effort to raise the average teacher salary in the state to $48,500.” The state’s “average teacher salary in 2013-14 was just over $40,000, the lowest of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to National Education Association tabulations.” South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, “who has championed the measure,” created a Blue Ribbon Task Force in 2015 to address education spending. The task force in November “recommended establishing a new dedicated funding source for teacher pay and reorienting its school-financing formula.” Since then, “Two companion bills that complete the education overhaul have cleared the state Senate and are awaiting action in the House of Representatives.”
Continue reading South Dakota Legislators Approve Measure To Boost Teacher Salaries