Congress Passes Continuing Resolution
Since the spring, Congress has been unable to reach agreement on the 12 individual spending bills that fund federal government operations and programs, including the K-12 education programs authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Lacking this needed consensus, lawmakers in both chambers spent last week negotiating a continuing resolution (CR)-stop-gap legislation that simply extends current fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels for a specific period of time. Earlier in the week, Senate Democrats published the text of a CR to extend current fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels through mid-December. After clearing the Senate, the House quickly took up and passed this legislation late last Friday. Shortly thereafter, President Biden signed the measure into law.
The CR will extend current FY22 funding levels through December 16 when lawmakers will next need to act by either passing an additional funding extension at that time or completing work on a more comprehensive funding proposal for the federal government. The length of the CR is intended to provide Congress additional time to campaign ahead of the fast-approaching midterm elections this November. It is broadly hoped that when the outcomes of these elections become clearer, lawmakers will be able to reach consensus during the "lame duck" session of Congress.
As these efforts continue, NSBA will continue to work with lawmakers to secure robust funding levels for K-12 education programs, including ESSA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and other school board member federal funding priorities.
USED Distributes Funding for School-based Mental Health
In the wake of several tragic mass shootings earlier this year, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938). The new law modestly tightened the nation's gun laws while investing significant new funding into K-12 education to support safer schools and mental health. On Monday, October 3, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced that it had published two grant funding opportunities as part of this legislation.
The first of these is the School-based Mental Health Services Grant program which will provide competitive grants to state (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs), along with consortia of these entities, to apply for funding to increase the number of school-based mental health services available to students. There is more than $144 million available for these grants. More information on how to apply, including related deadlines, can be found here.
The second grant announcement is related to the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration grant program. This competitive grant program is intended to provide financial support to SEAs, LEAs, and postsecondary institutions to hire additional staffing capacity for similar purposes. Additional information regarding this initiative can be accessed here.
USED Announces New Magnet School Awards
On Wednesday, October 5, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had made $117 million in new funding commitments as part of the Magnet Schools Assistance Program and a related Equity Assistance Center program. These grant initiatives are intended to develop and support magnet schools across the country, including by helping them attend to important issues of equity. More on the announcement can be found here.
FCC Makes New Connectivity Funding Commitments
The Federal Communications Commission announced $96 million in new Emergency Connectivity funding on Wednesday, October 5. These funds will support approximately 170 schools, 30 libraries, and one consortium of related eligible institutions. Nearly $53 million will benefit students impacted by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian in Florida, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina. Funding commitments to date include: $4.1 billion from Window 1; $833 million from Window 2; and $1 billion from Window 3.
Registration Is Open for NSBA's Advocacy Institute
Join your fellow advocates on Jan. 29-31 to discuss key developments in education policy and legislation and how you can make an impact when developing relationships with your representatives. The early bird savings deadline is Nov. 18. Click here for more information and to register.
NSBA 2023 Early Registration & Housing Are Open
National Connection and CUBE districts have exclusive access to early registration and housing! Register now to save up to $200 and secure your first-choice hotel before it opens to the general public on Oct. 12.
The NSBA 2023 Annual Conference & Exposition is an integrated, in-person and online event, with the option to connect face-to-face or attend select online sessions from the comfort of your home or office. NSBA 2023 brings world-class programming, inspirational keynotes, top education solution providers, and plentiful networking opportunities. Join us on April 1-3, 2023, in Orlando, FL!
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of October 7, 2022