House Democrats Revise Build Back Better Act
On Wednesday, November 3, the House Rules Committee unveiled revised text for the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) -- $1.75 trillion legislation that would invest in a number of President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ domestic priorities, including K-12 education. The revised text did not substantially change or impact any NSBA legislative priorities. The current bill includes $300 million in supplemental funding for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), $113 million for “Grow Your Own” teacher and school leader development programs, $112 for teacher residency initiatives, $112 million for school principal support, and $161 million for personnel development efforts under Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
The House Rules Committee met late into the night on Wednesday, hoping to tee up a vote sometime today (Friday). Should the current timeline hold, and with both Chambers out on recess next week, the earliest the BBBA could be taken up by the Senate is sometime during the week of November 15. However, key members of the Democratic caucus, particularly Sen. Manchin (D-WV) have so far been noncommittal regarding their support for the proposal as currently constructed in the House. This likely means that the Senate will make changes to the legislation prior to final passage. It remains unclear what potential changes will be made to the bill in order to garner the Senator’s support.
If there is a vote on Build Back Better Act, it is likely that would be followed by a vote on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which previously passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote. It was unclear at 3 p.m. Friday when or whether these votes would take place.
USED Approves Two More State ARP Plans
The American Rescue Plan (ARP), passed exclusively by Congressional Democrats earlier this year, authorized $122 billion in additional pandemic aid funding to be disbursed to states and K-12 school districts this past spring. Since that time, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has distributed two-thirds of this funding to states via a formula detailed in the legislation. The Department held back the remaining third of these funds, however, until states and territories submitted plans detailing how they would make use of the resources to support students as they recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, November 4, USED approved two more of these plans, sending the additional funds to California and Colorado. Only five more states, along with Puerto Rico, have yet to be approved. The current status of all state ARP plans, including highlights of plans approved by the Department so far, can be found here.
OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard on Employee Vaccination Released
The White House released the President’s COVID-19 Action Plan in September, directing the U.S. Department of Labor to develop a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. This week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. It also requires employers to provide paid time to workers to get vaccinated and paid sick leave to recover from any side effects. OSHA released a webinar to help employers and workers familiarize themselves with the requirements. There is a 30-day comment period for interested parties to submit comments.
The Administration will be holding a webinar for those interested in learning more about the ETS and its effect on public sector organizations in the context of K12.
Friday, November 12 at 1:00-1:45pm ET
ETS briefing with focus on K12
RSVP for K12 session: https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_xr-IgFJLRZOYOigU-G4TbQ
As a reminder, here is a table of states impacted by the ETS:
Cover all employers (incl. State and Local Government Employers)
- Nevada New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
Covers State and Local Government Employers Only
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. Virgin Islands
From: OSHA Jurisdiction Over Public Schools and Other State and Local Government Entities
CDC Endorses COVID Vaccine for Children 5-11
This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation that children aged 5-11 be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. The CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has online information and resources for those interested in outreach efforts. Last month the White House released a fact sheet on operational planning for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11, in anticipation of approval by the appropriate regulating bodies.
- H.Res.758 Expressing support for designating November 2021 as "National Career Development Month". Sponsor: Rep. Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]
CPE Blog on COVID-19 Testing and Quarantine Practices in Schools
The Center for Public Education (CPE) published a blog examining current trends of COVID-19 cases among K-12 students, how states support and implement policies of COVID-19 testing and quarantine in schools, and how school districts implement COVID-19 testing an quarantine.
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of November 5, 2021