House Lawmakers Explore Whole Child K-12 Strategies
On Wednesday, April 6, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee held a hearing exploring K-12 instructional strategies and approaches that aim to support the “whole child.” Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) argued that these efforts, which incorporate a focus on social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions, are increasingly important as a way to help students recover from the impacts of the pandemic. The hearing explored a range of issues, including recent federal fiscal year 2022 (FY22) appropriations which provided significant new funding for these activities. A webcast of the hearing, including witness testimony, can be found here.
House Oversight Committee Examines Educational Free Speech
On Thursday, April 7, the House Oversight and Reform’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee held a hearing examining recent efforts to limit K-12 students’ access to certain books. The hearing comes amid the release of a special report from the American Library Association which found that there were 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, which resulted in the removal or further challenge of 1,597 books—a significant uptick compared to recent years. The hearing provided a platform for high school students, teachers, librarians, and others to speak about their direct experiences with these efforts and the impact that they have had on their educational pathways. A webcast of the hearing can be found here.
Biden Administration Makes K-12 School Infrastructure Push
This past Monday, April 4, the White House published a new toolkit highlighting the availability of flexible federal funding for school infrastructure projects. This toolkit is part of a wider White House initiative to lower school districts’ and institution’s energy costs by supporting the installation of more efficient energy technologies. In particular, the toolkit highlights funding opportunities for schools to apply for grant funds from programs administered by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the resource highlights the significant flexibilities for using State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds—a $350 billion program authorized by the American Rescue Plan—for school infrastructure projects. The toolkit can be accessed here.
USED published notice on a discretionary grant program for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Supporting Effective Educator Development Program – The Supporting Effective Educator Development Program works to increase the number of highly effective educators, through supporting “Evidence-Based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators.” This program is authorized under ESEA. This discretionary grant notice includes two absolute priorities: (1) Supporting Effective Teachers, which requires Moderate Evidence; and (2) Supporting Effective Principals or Other School Leaders, which requires Promising Evidence. The estimated available funds total $65,000,000. Applications are due by June 3, 2022, and further information is available here.
- H.R.7421 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To authorize a Law Enforcement Education Grant program to encourage students to pursue a career in law enforcement. Sponsor: Rep. Fischbach, Michelle [R-MN-7]
- H.Res.1036 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that all young children and families should have access to high-quality, affordable childcare and early education. Sponsor: Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1]
- H.R.7381 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) YouthBuild for the Future Act Sponsor: Rep. Hayes, Jahana [D-CT-5]
- H.R.7373 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) SNACK Act Sponsor: Rep. Walorski, Jackie [R-IN-2]
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of April 8, 2022