- Legislative and advocacy
- August 12, 2022 NSBA Weekly Update
August 12, 2022 - NSBA Weekly Update
House to Vote on Inflation Reduction Act
Congress typically adjourns for most of August. Recently, however, after over a year of off-again-on-again negotiations among Democratic leaders, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that they had reached agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376). Following this announcement, the Senate remained in session last weekend to approve the bill which will make significant new investments in the nation’s capacity to produce and use greener sources of energy while expanding healthcare access for millions of Americans. The bill increases federal revenue to offset these new investments while also decreasing the federal deficit by roughly $306 billion. An early iteration of the new law, known as the Build Back Better Act, proposed significant new K-12 investments and related infrastructure construction, but lawmakers were unable to reach consensus on these and many other initiatives originally sought by the White House.
Senate Democrats passed the legislation by a simple majority vote via the chamber’s budget reconciliation process. Lawmakers in the House are expected approve the measure today. Following today’s House vote, lawmakers in both chambers are scheduled to remain in recess until September 6.
CDC Releases New COVID-19 Guidelines
Yesterday, August 11, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published new recommended guidelines for states, districts, and schools to support leaders and other stakeholders as they navigate the ongoing pandemic ahead of the new school year. The guidelines, which are recommendations from the CDC and are intended to be voluntarily adopted, provide greater clarity regarding the usage of masks, quarantines, and other pandemic mitigation strategies. Upon the release of these recommendations, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona commented, in part, “This latest guidance from the CDC should give our students, parents, and educators the confidence they need to head back to school this year with a sense of joy and optimism. While COVID continues to evolve, so has our understanding of the science and what it takes to return to school safely. Thanks to vaccines, boosters, new treatments, and commonsense safety precautions – as well as funding from the American Rescue Plan – our schools have more resources
than ever before to provide the healthy learning environments our students need to grow and thrive academically, socially, and emotionally."
U.S. Ed Announces Student Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Events
On August 17, 24, and 31 from 2:00 PM - 4:00PM Eastern Time, the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy and Technical Assistance Center will host a National Student Privacy and Data Security Webinar Series designed to help schools comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Building on this training opportunity, PTAC will host a three-day K-12 Data Security and Cybersecurity Summit for educators on September 7, 14, and 21.
FCC Announces Home Internet Connectivity Outreach Initiatives
The Federal Communications Commission announced the establishment of an Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program to raise awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). To raise awareness of ACP benefits, Congress included a provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the FCC to conduct and fund ACP outreach, including providing grants to outreach partners to ensure that eligible households can learn about the program and receive assistance with the application process. Separately, the FCC established a pilot program titled "Your Home, Your Internet," to increase awareness and encourage participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program for households receiving federal housing assistance. These initiatives target low-income households, including the homes of students who require broadband and device access for remote learning.
- Courtesy of NSBA's Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update - Week of August 12, 2022