- Legislative and advocacy
- March 3, 2023 NSBA Weekly Update
March 3, 2023 - NSBA Weekly Update
House Republicans Introduce Parents Bill of Rights Legislation
On Wednesday, March 1, Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA) introduced the Parents Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 5). The legislation was co-sponsored by 73 Republican colleagues in the chamber, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC), among other members of House Republican leadership. The bill aims to establish additional legal protections and enumerated rights for parents regarding their children's education. "As a mom of two and a former educator, I believe for a child to succeed, they need families and educators to work together as partners throughout the learning process," Letlow said as part of the bill's introduction.
Later in the day, Speaker McCarthy, Chair Foxx, and other House Republican leaders held an event to highlight the legislation and elevate stories from parents and families who are supportive of the proposal. A factsheet for H.R. 5 can be found here, and the full text of the measure can be accessed here.
House Republicans Ban Education Earmarks
For the last few years, members of Congress have been able to make specific funding requests in support of projects or initiatives related to their home state or district. Known formally as "community project funding" in the House and informally as "earmarks" elsewhere, these requests totaled $200 million in last year's federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) spending package for K-12 initiatives. Yesterday, House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) announced new guidance for the upcoming FY24 budget and appropriations process. Among other notable changes, the guidance will not allow earmarks for the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill - legislation where K-12 education programs like the Every Student Succeeds Act derive funding - in the upcoming budget and appropriations cycle.
Elsewhere, the Senate has announced that it will still allow such requests this year, which will be due April 13. NSBA continues to analyze these new appropriations rules and their potential impact on education funding for the coming federal fiscal year.
House Ed Chairwoman Foxx Expresses Confidence in Parental Bill of Rights
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) gave a speech during a forum with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Members of the House Republican Conference, and concerned parents on the reintroduction of the Parents Bill of Rights Act. The Chairwoman acknowledged its impact on education freedom in America, stating, "One of the greatest blessings in life is to raise children - it's a solemn responsibility that every parent takes immense pride in." She gave full support and expressed confidence that "The Parents Bill of Rights will support parents' rights movements across America" and stated that it is every parent's "duty as stakeholders in their children's education." Watch the entire event here.
Comprehensive Labor Bill Introduced Amid Historic Public Support for Unions
A bipartisan group of House and Senate Members introduced the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2023 (H.R. 20), a comprehensive proposal to protect workers' right to come together and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer workplaces. The House bill was introduced by the Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA) and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The Senate companion was introduced by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Read more about the bill here.
Federal Bill Pushes for Whole Milk in Schools
A federal bill introduced in the House by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Kim Schrier (D-WA) would allow schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to serve whole milk. Earlier this month, a federal bill allowing schools to serve flavored milk got a second life in Congress. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed revisions to the milk requirements in school meals, one of which would limit flavored milk to high schools. The full text of the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act has yet to be released. It has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Workforce. H.R. 1147 would enable both flavored and unflavored whole milk to be served. Read more here.
New Investigative Counsel for House Education and the Workforce Committee
Kent Talbert is now investigative counsel for the House Education and the Workforce Committee. He was formerly a senior adviser to the deputy Education secretary under the Trump administration. Talbert is a proven leader in the K-12 and higher education sectors, with in-depth legal, policy, and management experience in the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as in private practice. See Talbert's profile here.
Department of Education Announces Required Cybersecurity Updates for Postsecondary Institutions to Comply with the Safeguards Rule
On Feb. 9, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released an announcement about updates that postsecondary institutions must make to their cybersecurity and data protection policies to comply with the Federal Trade Commission's amended Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Safeguards Rule), a component of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). The effective date for most of the changes to the Safeguards Rule is June 9, 2023. The announcement provides a summary of the changes to the Safeguards Rule, explains the impacts of the changes on postsecondary institutions, and describes changes to ED's enforcement of the GLBA requirements. Read more about the Safeguards Rule here.
Vice President Harris Remarks on Expanding Affordable High-Speed Internet Nationwide
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Benedict College in South Carolina to speak on the issues regarding the nation's access to affordable, high-speed internet. Harris stated that access to high-speed internet is "not a luxury, but a basic necessity." The Vice President included statements on the importance of high-speed internet to the students and parents who struggle with completing schoolwork and everyday tasks due to the lack of access to high-speed internet. Harris announced the administration's $65 billion investment in the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act. Read the Vice President's full speech here.
Selected Education-Related Bills Recently Introduced
- H.R.1185 - 118th Congress (2023-2024) To allow a State to submit a State management decision to the Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students.
- H.R.1207 - 118th Congress (2023-2024) To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve diversity in accelerated student learning programs. Sponsor: Cohen, Steve [Rep.-D-TN-9]
Join 3/7 Twitter Chat to Support Increased Educational Investment
As the FY 2024 appropriations process begins, the Committee for Educational Funding is hosting an opportunity to speak out about why increases in education funding are so vital. The President's budget is likely to request large increases along the education continuum. In the last two years, Congress increased investments in education (but not as much as the President requested). This year, discussions are occurring to cut total discretionary funding and jeopardizing investments in education.
Mark your calendars for March 7 at 3 p.m. EST to join the @edfunding chat to support increased education investments in Fiscal Year 2024. #Time4Edfunding
Share Your Views on Technology and Learning Through the Speak Up Survey
The Speak Up Research Project, facilitated by Project Tomorrow, is a national research project and a free service to schools and districts everywhere. Since fall 2003, Speak Up has helped education leaders include the voices of students, faculty, parents, and the community in annual and long-term planning. More than 5 million people have participated in Speak Up, and educators from more than 30,000 schools have used Speak Up data to create and implement their vision for the next generation of learning.
By participating in Speak Up, education stakeholders express their views to a wider audience of local, state, and national policymakers as well as the business community - and contribute to the national dialogue about science, technology, and preparing students for the 21st century workforce.
The online survey is open to students, educators, and parents. You can introduce Speak Up to your school board members and other stakeholders with sample text for emails, newsletters, blog posts, or website content available at tomorrow.org/speakup/promo_sample_emails.html.
To see results from the 2021-22 national research findings, visit tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup_data_findings.html. You can also download an infographic with answers to three big questions about students' use of technology in school.
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of March 3, 2023