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
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
On Thursday (March 9), the U.S. Senate by a vote of 50-49 approved a resolution (H.J.Res. 57) to invoke its authority under the federal Regulatory Control Act to repeal the Accountability and State Plan regulations promulgated last November by the Obama Administration under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (The Regulatory Control Act allows congressional disapproval of previously promulgated federal regulations under certain conditions.)
Earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives had approved the measure 234 – 190 on Tuesday (March 7). The measure heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to approve it, effectively repealing the regulations issued under the former Administration.
Continue reading Congress, President to Repeal Obama-era Accountability Regulations