FY22 Omnibus Enacted
As shared last week, Congress successfully passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package which provides full-year funding for the remaining six months of the current 2022 federal fiscal year (FY22). This spending package provides support for federal education programs, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). On Tuesday, March 15, President Biden formally signed the legislation into law. The legislation provides a $1 billion increase for Title I funding under ESSA—a six percent increase over FY21 funding levels. The law also makes a host of other important investments in K-12 education, particularly those aimed at bolstering the teacher workforce pipeline.
With the FY22 funding process now complete, the FY23 budget and appropriations process can now formally begin. This process typically begins with the release of the President’s budget request to Congress, which NSBA’s advocacy team expects to be released in the coming weeks. Once the Biden Administration’s budget request is published and sent to Congress, lawmakers will formally begin efforts to craft the necessary spending bills that compose the federal budget (12 in total). Ahead of these efforts, the Senate confirmed Shalanda Young to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week by a margin of 61-36. This agency is tasked with leading the formulation of the Biden Administration’s FY23 budget request and will be a key stakeholder in future FY23 federal appropriations negotiations. As these efforts and more continue to develop, NSBA’s advocacy team will work to ensure the funding needs of the K-12 community are met through this process.
House Education Committee Advances Legislation to Expand Reporting on School Shootings
On Wednesday, March 16, the House Education and Labor Committee marked up and approved legislation that would, for the first time, uniformly collect data related to school shootings. The School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5428) would, if enacted, strengthen data reporting on school-based gun violence by creating new federal definitions for “school shooting” and “mass shooting” along with other changes related to the future federal school safety reports. The legislation was passed largely along party lines by a margin of 27-21. The bill now advances to the House floor for further consideration by the chamber.
NAEP High School Transcript Study Released
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), more commonly known as the nation’s report card, released a new study on Wednesday, March 16. This study examines high school transcript data and explores trends in student course taking and related performance on the NAEP. The study found that although students seem to be undertaking more rigorous coursework at higher rates and are earning higher GPAs, related performance on the NAEP has declined overall. The full results of this study can be found here.
FCC Extends Comment Deadline
On Wednesday, March 16, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formally extended the deadline for filing public comments responding to the agency’s proposed changes to the E-rate program’s competitive bidding rules. Comments must now be submitted by April 27 and Reply Comments are now due no later than May 27.
The Department of Education invited applications for the following competitive grants:
- Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad (FRA) Fellowship Program – The Fulbright-Hays FRA Fellowship Program provides grants for faculty members at colleges and universities to conduct research abroad to improve their area studies and foreign language skills. The absolute priority for this grant program focuses on one or more of the following areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere, except the United States. The estimated available funding for this program totals $400,000 with estimated awards ranging from $25,000-$40,000. Applications are due by July 13, 2022, and further information is available here.
- Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – Early Childhood Personnel Equity Center – This personnel development grant program focuses funds on personnel preparation in special education, early education, and regular education to work with students with disabilities, and to ensure that personnel have the skills and knowledge needed to serve those children. The absolute priority – Early Childhood Personnel Equity Center – focuses on intentionally designing a program to prepare early childhood personnel to support the developmental needs of young children and their families from racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The Administration has requested $250,000,000 for this program, of which $2,000,000 will be used for this specific program. Applications are due by May 16, 2022, and further information is available here.
- H.R.7100 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to provide for certain minimal levels of educational assistance to the dependents of public safety officers, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Herrell, Yvette [R-NM-2]
- H.R.7098 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to expand the Magnet Schools Assistance Program. Sponsor: Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]
- H.R.7092 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) Universal Prekindergarten and Early Childhood Education Act of 2022 Sponsor: Del. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]
- H.R.7070 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) Protecting School Milk Choices Act of 2022 Sponsor: Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]
- S.3855 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) A bill to amend section 7014 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to advance toward full Federal funding for impact aid, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Lujan, Ben Ray [D-NM]
- S.3849 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to expand the Magnet Schools Assistance Program. Sponsor: Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT]
- S.3848 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) A bill to authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants to fund additional school-based mental health providers to help reduce psychological harm, and assist with the return to adaptive coping in schools following a violent or traumatic crisis, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI]
- S.3827 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) A bill to increase the amount of loan forgiveness available to teachers. Sponsor: Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]
NSBA Urges NTIA to Strengthen Count of Households Without Internet
NSBA joined with a coalition of other organizations to call for urgent action to ensure unserved households in multi-family residential housing (MDUs) are correctly identified when broadband
funding is allocated. These households represent a large percentage of the most unconnected households in America: very low-income renters and communities of color.
In a letter, the coalition urged the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to use its authority to encourage states to supplement new FCC Maps with data that identifies specific apartment units that lack access to reliable broadband service. While applauding Federal Communications Commission (FCC) efforts to strengthen their maps and identify whether an apartment building has an internet connection, the coalition highlights the need to accurately count unconnected units within each building to deliver on the shared goal of closing America’s digital divide.
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of March 18, 2022