Congressional Update – New K-12 Bills

Federal Weekly Advocacy Update

Notable New K-12 Bills

  • H.R.3692To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide greater access to higher education for America’s students, to eliminate educational barriers for participation in a public service career, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Torres, Norma J. [D-CA-35]
  • H.R.3689To prohibit States from suspending, revoking, or denying State-issued professional licenses or issuing penalties due to student default. Sponsor: Rep. Shalala, Donna E. [D-FL-27]
  • H.R.3674To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to eliminate origination fees for Federal Direct Loans. Sponsor:Rep. Davis, Susan A. [D-CA-53]
  • H.R.3667To create a new Federal grant program that provides grants to State libraries to allow schools with summer lunch programs to keep their libraries open for student use during the summer months. Sponsor:Rep. Morelle, Joseph D. [D-NY-25]
  • H.R.3662To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ensure that student borrowers are provided relief from their student loans in the instance of substantial misrepresentation or omission by an institution of higher education. Sponsor:Rep. McBath, Lucy [D-GA-6]
  • H.R.3659To establish an Anti-Bullying Roundtable to study bullying in elementary and secondary schools in the United States, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Rose, Max [D-NY-11]
  • H.R.3647To provide temporary impact aid construction grants to eligible local educational agencies, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Cox, TJ [D-CA-21]
  • S.2085A bill to authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible entities to carry out educational programs about the Holocaust, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Sen. Rosen, Jacky [D-NV]
  •  S.2070A bill to create a new Federal grant program that provides grants to State libraries to allow schools with summer lunch programs to keep their libraries open for student use during the summer months. Sponsor:Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]
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Federal Administration Updates

FCC Votes to Allow School Airwaves to be Opened up for Next Generation 5G

Ignoring the Department of Education, Members of Congress, and state and local education leaders, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted along party lines to forgo granting new Educational Broadband Service licenses and instead commercialize the spectrum.  The FCC noted plans to provide rural tribal nations the opportunity to acquire the unassigned/unused airwaves but will then auction off the remaining airwaves. NSBA will be carefully monitoring this situation going forward and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Additional FCC Action:The FCC also  released a new and additional NPRM this week concerning E-Rate separate from the one calling for an overall cap on the Universal Service Fund. This NPRM seeks comments on how to continue the category two funding approach adopted in earlier reforms when E-Rate was expanded and modernized. The date for comments and reply comments has not been determined at this time.

 

New Data Released from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil rights announced “New Data Show Secretary DeVos’ Reforms to the Office for Civil Rights are Driving Better Results for Students”. The announcement, which shows USED has cut the backlog of civil rights complaints in the past year, had been met with controversy.

 

Department of Education Issues Final Rule to Align ESEA and ESSA Regulations

The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a final rule, with a request for comments, to align existing Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) regulations with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA.) The final rule would align the regulations in 34 CFR Part 200 relating to Title I of ESEA and part 299 relating to general provisions of ESEA after changes were made by ESSA. These regulations make technical changes only, and one additional change to align section 200.64 with the US Constitution after the Supreme Court’s decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia Inc. v. Comer. The regulations are effective July 1, 2019 and comments are due by August 1, 2019. Further information is available here.

 

Department of Education Publishes Discretionary Grant Program Notices:

USED published notice on a discretionary grant program for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • “Applications for New Awards: Trauma Recovery Demonstration Grant Program” – These competitive grants seek to support “model programs that enable a student a from low-income family who has experienced trauma that negatively affects the student’s educational experience to access the trauma-specific mental-health services from the provider that best meets the student’s needs.” The estimated funds available for this program total $5,000,000. Applications for this grant program are available on August 14, 2019 and further information is available here.

USED published notice on a discretionary grant program for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:

  • “Applications for New Awards: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – Model Demonstration Projects for Early Identification of Students with Dyslexia in Elementary School” – The purpose of this grant program is to support professionals to collaborate with parents and establish high expectations for students with, or at risk for, dyslexia. The estimated available funds for this program total $1,200,000, contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of applications. Applications are due by August 5, 2019 and further information is available here.

USED published notice on a discretionary grant program for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • “Applications for New Awards: Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Program – Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools” – This grant program provides funds to charter school developers to enable them to open new charter schools or replicate or expand high-quality charter schools. This grant program is limited to charter school developers in states that do not currently have a CSP State Entity grant. If a state has a CSP SEA grant, it is limited to charter school developers applying for grants for the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools, and only if the SEA’s grant application authorizes the SEA to make subgrants for replication and expansion. Estimated available funds for this program total $14,460,000. Final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for use in this competition are available here. Applications for this grant program are due by August 2, 2019 and further information is available here.
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Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Update

Negotiations Over Budget Intensify as Debt Ceiling Looms

Congress and the Administration were shaken out of their budget stalemate this week after the Department of the Treasury announced that the US may hit the debt ceiling as early as the week of September 9, only a couple of days after the House and Senate return from August recess. With a looming deadline and very little time left to figure out a solution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke several times this week with Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and conversations are ongoing between Democratic House and Republican Senate leadership. It is too early to tell if negotiations will be successful, but there is increasing pressure to pass something prior to the August recess, and it is encouraging that all parties are speaking again just one week after Pelosi had indicated that talks had broken  down.

House Ed & Labor Committee Plans Three Education Hearings

The House Education & Labor Committee has a busy week of hearings planned, as Congress looks to get through as much business as possible prior to the August recess set to begin in two weeks. The hearings include:

  • Tuesday, July 16 (10:15am ET)– The House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment is holding a hearing titled “Scaling Up Apprenticeships: Building on the “Success of International Apprenticeship Models””. Witnesses have not yet been announced.  Watch the livestream here.
  • Tuesday, July 16 (2pm ET)– The House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services is holding a hearing titled “Strengthening Federal Support to End Youth Homelessness”. Witnesses have not yet been announced.  Watch the livestream here.
  • Wednesday, July 17 (10:15am ET)– The House Education and Labor subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education and Workforce Investment are holding a joint subcommittee hearing titled “Educating our Educators: How Federal Policy Can Better Support Teachers and School Leaders”. Witnesses have not yet been announced.  Watch the livestream here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gov. Walz orders flags at half-staff in honor of conservation officer

Flag-HalfStaff

Source: Office of Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

In honor and remembrance of Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon Barron, Gov. Tim Walz has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset today, Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Conservation Officer Barron died on duty when he suffered a medical emergency while responding to a call. He served 23 years with the Red Lake Department of Public Safety and leaves behind a wife, two children, the aunt who raised him, and many friends and family.

“Conservation Officer Barron was an outstanding conservation officer who was admired and respected by his colleagues, and served with dignity and pride,” reads the proclamation issued by Governor Walz. “The State of Minnesota recognizes Conservation Officer Barron for his dedicated service to, and sacrifice for, his fellow citizens with its deepest gratitude, and all thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and entire community of Red Lake.”

At the direction of the governor, Minnesota flies its flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota first responders fallen in the line of duty, on the day of interment.

View a copy of Gov. Walz’s proclamation.

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Apply for Greater Minnesota school bus replacement grants by August 13

SchoolBus-StockPhoto

Due to the overwhelming response to the school bus replacement grants offered in 2018, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has created an additional funding opportunity for school buses.

As with the previous opportunity, these grants will help replace older diesel school buses (model years 1992 to 2009) with newer, cleaner models. Grants will be for $15,000 or $20,000 per school bus, depending on whether the school district has 40 percent of students in the free or reduced lunch program.

This second round of funding is specifically geared towards school bus replacements in Greater Minnesota, to ensure our commitment to distribute school bus grants throughout the state at a 60/40 split between the metro area and Greater Minnesota. Projects in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area are not eligible for this grant.

The total funds available is $580,000, which we anticipate will fund roughly 29 bus replacements. Applications are due Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

There will be an information and training meeting, designed to answer questions and explain the application process in more detail, at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the MPCA St. Paul office (520 Lafayette, St. Paul MN 55155) in room 100. The meeting will also be available through WebEx.

For more information or if you are interested in applying, please visit www.pca.state.mn.us/air/greater-minnesota-school-bus-replacement-grants.

Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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Gov. Walz orders flags at half-staff in honor of pilot

Flag-HalfStaff

Source: Office of Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

In honor and remembrance of pilot Timothy McDonald, Gov. Tim Walz has ordered all United States and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

McDonald died while on duty in a helicopter crash in Brainerd. He worked as a pilot for North Memorial Health Air Care for the past four years, following his service in the United States Army as an aviation Warrant Officer and as a paramedic for North Memorial. He leaves behind a wife, four children, and his parents.

“Pilot McDonald was an outstanding pilot who was respected and admired by his colleagues and served the public with dignity and pride,” reads the proclamation issued by Gov. Walz. “The State of Minnesota recognizes Pilot Tim McDonald for his dedicated services to, and sacrifice for, his fellow citizens with its deepest gratitude, and all thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and entire community.”

At the direction of the governor, Minnesota flies its flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota first responders fallen in the line of duty, on the day of interment.

View a copy of Gov. Walz’s proclamation.

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Gov. Walz orders flags half-staff in honor of flight nurse

Flag-HalfStaff

Source: Office of Governor Walz & Lt. Governor Flanagan

In honor and remembrance of flight nurse Debra K. Schott, Gov. Tim Walz has ordered all United States and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

Schott died while on duty in a helicopter crash in Brainerd. She spent the last 15 years as a critical care nurse for North Memorial Health Care, and leaves behind a husband, two children, two grandchildren, and many other friends and family.

“Flight Nurse Schott was an outstanding Nurse who was respected and admired by her colleagues and served the public with dignity and pride as a Flight Nurse,” reads the proclamation issued by Gov. Walz. “The State of Minnesota recognizes Flight Nurse Schott for her dedicated services to, and sacrifice for, her fellow citizens with its deepest gratitude, and all thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and entire community.”

At the direction of the governor, Minnesota flies its flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota first responders fallen in the line of duty, on the day of interment.

Access a copy of Governor Walz’s proclamation.

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