Last week, members of the WASB Executive Committee traveled to our nation’s capital to meet with members of our Wisconsin Congressional delegation and their staff and discuss WASB’s concerns and priorities for federal legislation affecting K-12 public schools.
It was a vital time to be on Capitol Hill as Congress worked on funding legislation to avert a federal government shutdown and to begin finalizing 2018 fiscal year funding as well as making preparations to take up the fiscal year 2019 budget. Continue reading WASB leaders take advocacy for WI public schools to Congress
On Monday (Feb. 12), President Donald Trump unveiled his budget proposal for federal fiscal year 2019 that starts on Oct. 1, 2018. This is the second budget proposal of his presidency, and, in many ways, it resembles the budget he proposed last year.
The latest plan would cut the U.S. Department of Education’s budget for fiscal 2019 by about $3.6 billion or roughly 5.3 percent compared to current levels. While significant, this represents a smaller cut than what the president sought for fiscal 2018, when he proposed cutting $9.2 billion—or 13.5 percent—from the Education Department. Continue reading President’s 2019 budget plan would cut federal education funding by more than 5%
Early Saturday morning (Dec. 2) the U.S. Senate voted 51 to 49 along partisan lines to pass its version of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). The plan, as passed, could add one trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade, which many education leaders fear could trigger calls for a significant reduction in spending for federal programs, including those that support K-12 education. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed its own version of the tax reform legislation. Continue reading U.S. Senate Passes Tax Code Reform Legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a mammoth federal tax reform plan yesterday on what was essentially a party-line vote. The final tally on H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was 227 to 205, with all but 13 Republicans voting in favor of the measure and all Democrats voting against it.
The massive overhaul package, which would slash taxes for businesses and corporations and makes numerous tax changes for individuals, would also increase the national debt by up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Continue reading U.S. House Passes Tax Code Overhaul Bill
The House Committee on Ways and Means convened this afternoon in a “markup” session to begin consideration of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a tax reform package that would slash corporate income tax rate and some individual income tax rates and raise the standard deduction, offsetting the cost by eliminating some cherished itemized deductions. The legislation is the first draft of a bill for tax reform and is expected to be under consideration by the Committee throughout this week with many possible amendments likely to be taken up. (A markup session is the name given to when a Congressional committee or subcommittee meets to debate, amend or rewrite a bill. The committee has the option of either accepting or rejecting the final version of the bill that comes out of the markup session.)
Several of bill’s provisions would likely impact school districts in a negative way. These include:
Continue reading Key House Committee Begins Deliberations on Federal Tax Reform Package
Last night (Oct. 19), the U.S. Senate approved a federal fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, a key procedural step in setting the stage for the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, to pass a federal income tax reform bill along party lines.
The budget resolution passed by a 51-49 vote, with all Republicans except Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voting in favor and all Democrats opposing.
The U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently in recess until Oct. 23, has already passed a budget resolution of its own. The Senate’s action, passed as an amendment to the earlier House-passed budge resolution (H.Con. Res. 71), continues momentum toward debate and passage of tax reform.
The final measure will provide instructions for fiscal year 2018 appropriations for education programs for education programs, as well as for tax reform and health care reform. Moreover, the budget resolution will determine the scope of most legislative priorities for the current session of Congress.
Continue reading Senate Vote Sets Stage for Party-Line Consideration of Federal Tax Reform
Today (Sept. 6), the U.S. Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved a bipartisan FY2018 funding bill for the federal Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies, that is $3 billion above the FY2017 level and $27.5 billion above the President’s budget request.
The Senate subcommittee also rejected President Trump’s proposed cuts to teacher training and afterschool funding (see below). Full Senate committee consideration of the funding measure is scheduled for Thursday. The 2018 federal fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.
Here are capsule descriptions of some of the key funding provisions for K-12 education:
Continue reading Federal Appropriations Bill for Education Gains U.S. Senate Subcommittee Approval