- Legislative and advocacy
- September 23, 2022 NSBA Weekly Update
September 23, 2022 - NSBA Weekly Update
Congress Inches Closer to Stopgap Funding Measure
Exactly one week from today, the 2022 federal fiscal (FY22) year is set to end. Lawmakers must pass funding legislation before midnight on September 30 to avoid a lapse in federal appropriations and a shutdown of federal government operations. Unfortunately, lawmakers in the House and Senate have not been able to reach consensus on the 12 individual spending bills that fund federal operations and programs. As a result, Congress is currently negotiating a continuing resolution (CR)—short-term legislation that will extend current fiscal year 2022 funding levels for a specific period of time. This is intended to provide federal legislators the time and space needed to negotiate a full-year spending bill, most likely after the upcoming midterm elections set to take place this November.
It is widely expected that this forthcoming CR will extend current FY22 funding levels for all federal operations and programs, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), through mid-December. At that point, the results from the elections—along with eventual party control of one or both chambers—will become clearer. Democrats and Republicans are currently debating whether to add a variety of other provisions, including supplemental funding for recent climate disasters, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and environmental permitting to this legislation. These talks remain fluid and while eventual agreement is expected prior to this upcoming FY23 deadline, there are only a few days left on the legislative calendar due to observed holidays next week. Consequently, it is likely that a final resolution for this current impasse on FY23 funding will take shape close to the deadline.
House Hosts Back-to-School Hearing
On Tuesday, September 20, the House Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education held a hearing titled “Back to School: Meeting Students’ Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs.” The hearing featured testimony from K-12 experts, practitioners, and leaders who each shared perspectives on how best to support students as they return to schools for the 2022-23 academic year. In particular, the hearing focused on the importance of meeting students’ social and mental health needs as a means of supporting their wider academic achievement. An archived webcast of the hearing can be accessed here.
FCC Extends Key E-Rate Deadline
On Monday, September 19, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted an extension for several deadlines within the E-Rate program related to the delivery of equipment and services among other administrative requirements. The FCC made the determination to temporarily extend a set of deadlines initially set to expire on September 30 of this year to the same date in 2023. The commission made this decision due, in part, because of ongoing disruptions to global supply chains that may delay the ability of E-Rate program grant recipients to delivery services and equipment. The full announcement can be found here.
USED Announced Blue Ribbon Schools
Late last week the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced the recognition of nearly 300 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022. Schools this year were recognized based on student assessment scores, student subgroup performance, and graduation rates. Particular emphasis was placed on schools making the most progress towards closing achievement gaps between various underserved student groups. More on the announcement can be found here.
OET Releases Digital Equity Plan Guidance
Yesterday, September 22, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) published new guidance to support the ongoing implementation of the Digital Equity Act—a new grant program created by last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law which is intended to support state efforts to promote digital equity and inclusion. The newly released guidance for this $2.75 billion grant program is intended to share best practices and high-quality examples for states as they begin to craft digital equity plans as part of this legislation. The guidance can be found here.
- H.R.8948 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Yarmuth, John A. [Rep.-D-KY-3]
- H.R.8945 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to prohibit the use of political tests in the selection, hiring, or promotion of students or faculty at institutions of higher education, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Stefanik, Elise M. [Rep.-R-NY-21]
- H.R.8932 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to clarify requirements for disclosure of transfer of credit policies. Sponsor: Castro, Joaquin [Rep.-D-TX-20]
- S.1098 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act Sponsor: Warner, Mark R. [Sen.-D-VA]
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of September 23, 2022