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
Yesterday (April 20), the Assembly Education Committee held a public hearing on a bill (Assembly Bill 233) that would prohibit the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) from submitting the state plan required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to the U.S. Department of Education without first responding to any objections submitted to DPI by the Assembly Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education.
The bill illustrates one of the tensions in implementing the new federal law. Continue reading Lawmakers Debate Degree of Stakeholder Input Needed on State’s ESSA Accountability Plan
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
Last week, Wisconsin joined Texas and nine other states in challenging the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance on gender identity and use of facilities by transgender students. Under the guidance, schools must allow transgender students access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
In his May 25 press release, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asserts that by reinterpreting the word “sex” to include “gender identity” without Congressional. consent or approval, the federal guidance amounts to executive overreach that undermines Wisconsin sovereignty and independence.
Continue reading Wisconsin Joins Challenge to Federal Guidance on Transgender Students
We are headed into a critical election that will determine the path of America’s future. Unfortunately, voters have not heard any meaningful discussions of public education. Our nation’s 100,000 public schools educate 50 million children, preparing them for our future workforce and participation in the democratic society. Their success is vital to our nation’s economy and competitiveness.
Every Presidential candidate should have a plan to make America’s public schools world-class!
Click Here to take action! Remind them as they head into the next national debate, voters want to hear their plans to make our public schools strong.
From the National School Boards Association (NSBA):
President Obama just signed into law the bipartisan, bicameral bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (S.1177). NSBA was represented at the bill signing. President Obama acknowledged the future work ahead, stating, “laws are only as good as the implementation” noting the importance of future engagement with schools, elected leaders, school leaders, community leaders, etc.
The law reaffirms the importance of local governance, protects federal investments for Title I for disadvantaged students, and prevents the diversion of public tax dollars for private use. S. 1177 passed the Senate on Wednesday, December 9 by a vote of 85 yeas to 12 nays and the House on Wednesday December 2 by an overwhelming majority.
Every member of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation voted in favor of the legislation.
WASB will be doing a series of posts on what is included in this legislation and what it will mean for school boards in Wisconsin.