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. 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
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
On Thursday (March 9), the U.S. Senate by a vote of 50-49 approved a resolution (H.J.Res. 57) to invoke its authority under the federal Regulatory Control Act to repeal the Accountability and State Plan regulations promulgated last November by the Obama Administration under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (The Regulatory Control Act allows congressional disapproval of previously promulgated federal regulations under certain conditions.)
Earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives had approved the measure 234 – 190 on Tuesday (March 7). The measure heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to approve it, effectively repealing the regulations issued under the former Administration.
Continue reading Congress, President to Repeal Obama-era Accountability Regulations
Several current or former school board members will be on the partisan primary ballot for various offices next Tuesday, August 9, 2016: Terry McNulty (Southern Door) is running as a Republican for the 8th Congressional seat currently held by retiring U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble. Mary Hoeft (Rice Lake) is running in the 7th Congressional District Democratic primary. Michael Bonds (MPS) and John Lemberger (Oshkosh) are running as Democrats for state Senate seats in the 6th and 18th State Senate districts, respectively. Finally, Sam Kelly (Kaukauna), a Democrat, and Jordan Karweik (Waterford Graded), a Republican, are running for the state Assembly in the 5th and 83rd Assembly districts, respectively. If we have missed anyone please let us know! Continue reading Several Current/Former School Board Members on Tuesday’s Primary Ballot
The U.S. Department of Education’s (USED’s) negotiated rulemaking committee concluded its negotiations on April 19, reaching consensus only on the Department’s proposed regulations governing assessments administered under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The negotiated rulemaking committee did not reach consensus on or approve the proposed regulations submitted by the USED relating to “supplement, not supplant” provisions of Title I. Those provisions are intended to govern the manner in which school districts demonstrate that federal funds are being used to supplement, not supplant, State and local funds. The impasse followed eight days of negotiations, in which Wisconsin Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Evers played a key role. Continue reading ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Reaches Consensus on Testing Regulations