Congress Remains on Spring Recess
It has been quiet on Capitol Hill this week, with lawmakers in both chambers currently in states and districts for the annual springtime Congressional recess. Both the House and the Senate are expected to return later this month during the week of April 25. With the release of President Biden’s federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget request to Congress earlier this month, it is widely anticipated that lawmakers will focus attention on the FY23 budget and appropriations cycle when they return. As these efforts unfold, NSBA’s advocacy team will continue to work with partners in Congress to secure robust funding in the coming year to help meet the K-12 education community’s needs.
Biden Administration Unveils Equity Agendas
On Thursday, April 14, federal Departments and Agencies collectively released “Equity Action Plans.” These plans are part of President Biden’s January 20, 2021, executive order aimed at advancing equity and support for underserved communities throughout the federal government. As part of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) also unveiled its specific plan which broadly aims to, “. . . [build] on current processes already in place and [implement] new strategies to ensure the advancement of equity as it works to promote student achievement and ensure the nation's education system meets the demands of today's global economy.” In its plan, USED also outlined efforts to leverage pandemic educational aid funding to advance equity among several other planned courses of action in the future. The full plan can be found here.
American Rescue Plan Summit Announced
The U.S. Department of Education announced its “From Recovery to Thriving: How the American Rescue Plan is Supporting America’s Students” virtual summit on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, from 4-8 p.m. ET.
The Department, in partnership with the National Public Education Support Fund, will bring together education leaders, advocates, and philanthropic partners to discuss how to help students and schools recover from the pandemic. The opening panel and learning sessions will create opportunities to support school districts and states in utilizing their federal funds to deepen and scale strategies to address learning recovery, mental health support, and labor shortages beyond the three years of ARP funding so students can recover and thrive in the future.
- 4 p.m.: Opening Panel: “From Recovery to Thriving: How the Education Ecosystem Can Support America’s Students”
- 5 p.m.: Learning Recovery Concurrent Sessions
- 6 p.m.: Labor Shortages Concurrent Sessions
- 7 p.m.: Mental Health and Well-Being & Social and Emotional Learning Concurrent Sessions
If you are interested in joining the summit, please register here. Upon completing your registration, you will receive an email with your registration details from Special.Events@ed.gov.
Child Tax Credits Available to Families
The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education Branch has shared information regarding various child-related tax credits available to families. IRS Publication 5585 contains details about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC). This publication also shares a phone number and QR code that can assist families in locating no-cost tax preparation and filing assistance at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. According to the IRS, families may receive a tax refund even if they are not normally required to file a tax return because of benefits included in the American Rescue Plan and other recent legislation. More details are available online at https://go.usa.gov/xtJY9. The IRS also has shared details on how families may request a tax filing extension through #IRSFreeFile at www.irs.gov/freefile.
For example, families may claim the full 2021 CTC of up to $3,600 per child. Studies show that additional income like the CTC is associated with stronger educational performance, improved health, and reduced stress among children in families with low incomes, according to the Partnership for America’s Children.
- H.R.7492 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To prohibit the Department of Education from punishing States, local educational agencies, or elementary schools for failure to implement or carry out certain Federal policies relating to sex education in elementary schools, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Gooden, Lance [R-TX-5]
- H.R.7491 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish notification and reporting requirements relating to unlawful acts and significant emergencies faced by students in public elementary and secondary schools. Sponsor: Rep. Crist, Charlie [D-FL-13]
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of April 15, 2022