Proposals introduced during recent House and Senate deliberations on the pending National Defense Authorization Act would have redirected more than $400 million from the Impact Aid program to education savings accounts (ESAs) for private school tuition. (See previous post.) For the time being, those proposals will not advance.
A controversial proposal before Congress that would redirect federal Impact Aid funding away from public school districts and toward education savings accounts (ESAs) for students in military families is drawing criticism from the very families it is intended to benefit.
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.
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:
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 following are the resolutions adopted by member school boards and submitted before the Sept 15 deadline to the WASB for review by the Policy & Resolutions Committee. The committee meets for the first time Sept 30-Oct 1.
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.