The WASB has joined with at least 40 other state school board associations in signing onto a joint letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) opposing the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF) and a sub-cap on the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) and Rural Health Care Programs. Federal E-Rate allocations play a vital role in helping to fund connecting schools to high-speed broadband. (See previous post.)
In addition, the WASB will be submitting additional, separate comments of its own. The deadline for submitting comments under the current reply comment period ends Monday (Aug 26) at 11:00 p.m. CDT. We will post the WASB’s comments to this blog as soon as they are finished so that any board wishing to submit its own comments can use the WASB’s comments in fashioning those comments.
Continue reading WASB joins 40 other state school boards associations opposing FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap
A renewed push is now underway for Congress to fully fund the federal commitment under the federal special education law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You can join in that effort.
With Congress currently in the middle of its August recess period, most members are back in their districts. This is a great time to contact your U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator and urge them to support bi-partisan legislation—called the IDEA Full Funding Act—that would authorize a 10-year plan to get us to full funding of IDEA. You can get helpful information about contacting your members of Congress from the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA’s) advocacy webpage here. Continue reading Advocacy Alert: Urge Congress to fully fund IDEA
Among other state budget actions, the Joint Finance Committee voted along party-lines last week to transfer $22 million in federal e-rate funds (which are meant to support telecommunications services in schools and libraries–the “e” in e-rate stands for “education”) in each year of the budget to the Broadband Expansion Grant Program. The amount transferred is $19.8 million more than what the Governor’s budget had proposed.
While this may be viewed by some as good news for rural areas that currently lack adequate broadband (high-speed internet) connections, it could spell concerns for schools and libraries in the future. Continue reading Recent state and federal moves on e-rate funds raise caution flags
Partial Government Shutdown Continues as New Congress Begins
The 116th Congress convened last week and the House immediately turned attention to approving an appropriations bill designed to end the partial government shutdown, triggered by the White House’s budget request for $5 billion to expand the southern border wall. The House measure, approved Thursday evening (Jan. 3), did not include funding for wall. The House vote shifts the budget debate back to the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that he will not bring any Fiscal Year 2019 legislation to the Senate floor that does not have the President’s support. Continue reading How will partial federal government shutdown affect K-12 schools, students?
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.
H.R. 5199, the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act, would re-purpose federal Impact Aid funding into a voucher-like program that would create ESAs military families could use to cover various education expenses – including private school tuition and private tutoring. Continue reading Federal plan to create “voucher-like” program for military-connected students draws criticism
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
Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, May 17), the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has scheduled a committee markup session to review and vote on H.R. 2353, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” The Committee meeting can be viewed online via live webcast at 10:00 am (EDT)/9:00 am (CDT).
Continue reading House Committee Set to Advance Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Program