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%
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
U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday (July 13) released a revised version of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The changes in the revised version are aimed at securing the votes of reluctant GOP senators in order to win the bill’s passage.
The new Senate bill, like earlier versions, would convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed (capped) payments to states. The new bill makes no change to the indexing that would be used to adjust future federal Medicaid outlays, which under the Senate version would be pegged to the consumer price index (CPI-U) rather than measures tied to medical care costs, which historically have risen faster than the CPI.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected federal outlays for Medicaid under the Senate bill would decline by 26 percent by 2026 in comparison with projections under current law. (See previous post.)
Continue reading US Senate Set to Try Again on Health Care Reform
From NSBA: Urgent Request for Letters of Support and Local Examples re: School-Based Medicaid Reimbursement
The U.S. Senate is poised to make public its version of the health care reform bill that is being negotiated among a group of senior Senate Republicans as early as tomorrow (Thursday, June 22).
The WASB has noted in previous posts regarding similar House legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare), efforts to significantly curtail Medicaid spending as part of this legislation have triggered concerns about the impact such cuts would likely have on schools and how services for students with disabilities would be funded. Continue reading Letters of Support Requested for School-Based Medicaid Reimbursement
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 the amount of federal Medicaid dollars 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