- Legislative and advocacy
- November 4, 2022 NSBA Weekly Update
November 4, 2022 - NSBA Weekly Update
Complimentary Webinar: 2022 Midterm Election Results and Its Impact on Future Education Policy
You are invited to join a special elections briefing on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern where BGR Group's Principal Bill Viney and Vice President Keiffer Mitchell will break down the results of the 2022 midterm elections at the federal and state levels. Bill and Keiffer will analyze the results and discuss how Congress and state legislatures will move forward on education policy in 2023. Click here to register.
Congress Focuses on Next Week's Midterm Elections and Will Return Mid-Month
The 2022 midterm elections are set to be held next week, Nov. 8. Tight races across the country could tip the balance of power in Washington and in some state capitals. According to the latest polls, the GOP continues to build momentum toward a takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. However, control of the U.S. Senate – which is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris as the deciding vote - remains a jump ball.
In Washington, D.C., both chambers of Congress remained in recess this week. Lawmakers will return to Washington, D.C. to resume debate regarding the federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) appropriations process and other year-end priorities on Nov. 14 as part of the "lame duck" session of the current 117th Congress. NSBA expects this year-end session to continue until at least Dec. 16 when temporary federal funding legislation is scheduled to expire. Lawmakers must act before this time to ensure continuity of federal funding beyond this date.
GAO Releases Teacher Shortage Report
Late last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a new report examining the U.S. Department of Education's (USED) ongoing efforts to address nationwide teacher shortages. The report critically examines USED's efforts on this issue to date, questioning whether the appropriate timeframes and measures of performance are in place to adequately ensure success. Moreover, the report highlights that teacher shortages are predominantly found in western states, rural and urban communities, high-poverty communities, and in certain high-needs subject areas. The report goes on to emphasize the need for USED to tailor its approach to teacher shortages to address these specific needs in a clearer and more individualized manner. According to the report, USED neither agreed nor disagreed with these findings.
New Members Appointed to NCES Board
Recently, President Biden announced 14 new appointments to the National Board of Educational Sciences-the entity which oversees and advises the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences. Following this announcement, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released a statement saying, in part, "The experts appointed by President Biden to the National Board for Education Sciences are renowned scholars, nationally respected educators, and proven leaders who are dedicated to the academic success and well-being of students of all ages and backgrounds, and who share a commitment to educators, school leaders, and families."
CISA Funds Expanding Access to Cybersecurity Programs at HBCUs, K-12 Schools
Black communities across the U.S. are increasingly being targeted with an array of scams, attacks and disinformation campaigns, prompting several efforts to address the issue. One effort from workforce development organization CYBER.ORG is looking to kill two birds with one stone through an initiative called Project Reach – a feeder program created to recruit K-12 students to pursue undergraduate cybersecurity degrees and bolster the U.S. cybersecurity workforce. With the help of funding from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the program was built to address the more than 760,000 cybersecurity positions currently open and increase awareness about cybersecurity issues more generally. More on Project Reach can be found here.
Education Department Distributes Money for Middle, High School Student Engagement
The U.S. Department of Education is distributing $50 million to states to add or improve extracurricular, after-school and summer programming for middle and high school students, according to a letter sent to state education officers Thursday. The letter urged states to prioritize evidence-based practices for middle and high school student attendance and engagement in their next 21st Century grant requests. More on this announcement can be found here.
Thompson, Langevin re-introduce bill to strengthen cybersecurity education
On Monday, U.S. Representatives Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, re-introduced the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act to mark the end of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This bipartisan legislation seeks to create a $10 million pilot program within the Department of Education that will award competitive grants to career and technical education programs that integrate cybersecurity into their curricula. More information on the bill can be found here.
Biden Administration Unveils $1 Billion Effort to Electrify School Buses
Nearly 400 school districts across the United States, including in several Indigenous tribal lands, as well as in Puerto Rico and American Samoa, will receive around $1 billion to purchase new, mostly electric school buses as part of a Biden administration grant program. With the grant money, recipient school districts will be able to purchase nearly 2,300 electric buses, quadrupling the nation's current number. More on this news can be found here.
USDA Announces $23 Million for Schools to Buy Direct from Local Farmers
Federal and state officials announced Wednesday they have signed a cooperative agreement with California for more than $23 million to purchase products and foods from local farmers – to include producers in Solano and Yolo counties – to provide quality, nutritious school meals. The Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program gives the California Department of Education the ability to purchase and distribute local and regional foods and beverages for schools in the state to serve children through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. More on the grant can be found here.
National Endowment for the Arts Announces New Staffing Assignments
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is pleased to announce staffing changes which will strengthen its position as a national resource and further the Agency's work in equity, access, and inclusion. The changes include the reassignments of two longtime NEA employees to newly created positions, effective Oct. 9, 2022. Ayanna Hudson, who has served as the acting deputy chair for programs and partnerships since Jan. 2021 and, previous to that, as NEA arts education director, will step into the new role of chief strategy, programs, and engagement officer. Jen Hughes, who has served as the director of design and creative placemaking, will assume the new position of senior advisor to the chair on partnerships, expansion, and innovation. More on NEA's new leadership can be found here.
NSBA Asks Congress for $1 Billion in Additional Emergency Connectivity Funds
Last week, NSBA joined 65 education and related national organizations in a letter to congressional leaders asking for $1 billion in additional funds for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), which is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The letter notes that the FCC received requests for $2.8 billion in ECF funds during its final application window, which was more than double the amount remaining in the program. "Without additional funding, many of these requests will not be met, leaving millions of students disconnected at a time when learning loss and teacher shortages are leading concerns," the letter reads. The letter also includes examples of how the program is addressing the critical needs of schools and libraries across the country who are struggling to keep students, teachers, and library patrons connected in an increasingly digital world.
Early Bird Ends Soon for NSBA 2023 Advocacy Institute
Join your fellow advocates on Jan. 29-31 to discuss key developments in education policy and legislation and how you can develop relationships with your representatives that make an impact. The early bird savings deadline is Nov. 18. Click here to register.