School Finance Working Group adopts recommendations for report

The Minnesota Department of Education’s School Finance Working Group met virtually Thursday, October 22, to review the ballot results submitted by the members for recommendations.

Members had been asked to rank each of the 47 recommendations (based on a scale that included “strongly endorse,” “endorse,” endorse with modifications” or “not endorse”). After a long discussion and debate, the majority of members voted to include all the recommendations in the report to Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker.

The next steps for the Working Group are:

  • Today (October 26): Members will receive a final draft document for review.
  • November 5: This is the last meeting of the Working Group. The Working Group will take final action on the report before submitting it to Commissioner Ricker.

All of the Working Group’s meetings can be viewed on YouTube at:

www.youtube.com/channel/UCPE02s12THFA5WnGnxTuc2Q

Posted in School Finance Working Group | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Federal Weekly Update

Congressional Update 

Coronavirus Relief Negotiations Continue 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have continued to discuss and negotiate a potential new round of emergency relief funding and related measures in response to the ongoing pandemic. Both Congressional Democrats and the Trump Administration have expressed in recent weeks their mutual desire to reach a deal on a legislative package that would provide significant aid for those impacted by the coronavirus, including the K-12 education community. Both sides have come closer together on costs, which would likely total about $2 trillion and include at least $100 billion in emergency relief funding for the wider education community. Yet Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin remain at odds over liability protections for businesses that would shield them from potential lawsuits related to COVID-19 outbreaks—a key priority for Republicans—and additional aid for state and local governments, a central priority for Democrats. 

Although both the White House and Congressional Democrats appear to be inching closer to a deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is not supportive of a pandemic measure of this size or scope. He has repeatedly argued this week that the proposals currently under consideration lack sufficient support to clear the Senate should they materialize. Despite modest progress this week, no deal has yet been struck between the two sides. With less than two weeks until the November elections, much-needed pandemic relief will likely not be addressed until after November 3. 

Administration Update

USED Announces School Leadership Honors 

On Monday, October 19, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) announced 10 principals as the recipients of the 2020 Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership. This award is intended to honor principals overseeing National Blue Ribbon Schools who are nominated by their communities for outstanding school leadership. Several national organizations representing school principals, in conjunction with USED, help make this award selection each year. More information about the awardees can be found here

Biden Campaign Noncommittal on Testing Waivers

On Thursday, October 22, the Education Writers Association (EWA) hosted a virtual event interviewing Stef Feldman, the Policy Director for Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. During the event, Feldman was asked whether a new Biden Administration would provide standardized testing waivers to states absolving them of related assessment and accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as a response to the ongoing pandemic. Feldman replied, in part, that “. . . the answer to this question depends on how much progress we can make in supporting our schools and getting them up and running.” Although the Trump Administration provided waivers earlier this year, USED has most recently told statesthat they will not extend these flexibilities moving forward. The full EWA interview can be found here

Bills

  • H.R.8634— 116th Congress (2019-2020) To improve United States cybersecurity through STEM scholarships, prize competitions, and other STEM activities, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Horn, Kendra S. [D-OK-5]
  • H.R.8612— 116th Congress (2019-2020) To direct the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to establish a School Cybersecurity Clearinghouse, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6]
  • S.4831— 116th Congress (2019-2020) A bill to provide resources for States, State educational agencies, local educational agencies, educators, school leaders, and others to measure and address instructional loss in students in kindergarten through grade 12. Sponsor:Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Federal Weekly Update

Congressional Update 

Pandemic Relief Remains Out of Reach 

Discussions regarding a much-needed next round of pandemic relief have been ongoing the past week, but despite a few promising developments lawmakers and the White House do not appear much closer to agreement. There are several outstanding areas of disagreement, including the total cost of pandemic relief. Congressional Democrats favor a package totaling around $2.2 trillion while Congressional Republicans support a proposal closer to $500 billion. Complicating matters further, the White House has shifted their position a few times in recent weeks and has most recently offered $1.8 trillion. Importantly, each of these proposals would include significant emergency funding for the K-12 community—an important priority for NSBA’s advocacy team. MSBA and NSBA will continue to advocate for funds and resources for public schools and will carefully monitor each proposal to make sure that funds that should go to public schools are not diverted elsewhere.

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has emphasized that he does not support the White House’s newest position and plans to hold an additional vote on Senate Republicans’ $500 billion offer sometime next week. This vote is intended to apply pressure on Democrats who have, so far, held firm to their existing negotiation position of at least $2 trillion. With the November elections a few short weeks away and the Senate consumed by a contentious Supreme Court confirmation, the likelihood of a pandemic relief package before the elections is unlikely. 

Administration Update

USDA Formally Extends School Nutrition Waivers 

Late last Friday, October 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) formally extended waiver flexibilities to allow schools and other local program operators to continue to provide no-cost meals to children through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through June 20, 2021. This development was made possible by the most recent stopgapgovernment funding bill, passed by Congress last month, which provided and encouraged USDA to extend these flexibilities past the end of 2020. More information regarding this announcement can be found here

CDC Updates School Coronavirus Testing Guidance 

On Tuesday, October 13, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published updated guidanceregarding COVID-19 testing strategies for K-12 schools. This updated guidance comes as many states and school districts have sought to reopen schools for in-person instruction with some communities requiring that all students take a test for COVID-19 prior to coming back to the classroom. The CDC’s guidance is supportive of voluntary testing regimes in schools, but strenuously argues against mandatory testing saying, in part, “It is unethical and illegal to test someone who does not want to be tested, including students whose parents or guardians do not want them to be tested.” The CDC also recommends against retesting individuals who have already tested positive but are no longer showing symptoms after three months. Importantly, the guidance emphasizes that these recommendations are not legally binding and are not meant to legally supplant other federal, state, or local community policies regarding how to test for the COVID-19 virus.

USED Releases Civil Rights Data 

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released the biennial Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) on Thursday, October 15—a dataset that includes information from 17,604 public school districts and 97,632 public schools and educational programs. The universal collection of data covers a broad range of topics from student enrollment to offered educational programs among many other data elements and disaggregates this information by student subpopulation. The data collection and subsequent release had been delayed earlier this year due to the ongoing pandemic. The release announcement can be found hereand the CRDC dataset can be accessed here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Governor Walz orders flags at half-staff in honor of lives lost to COVID-19

Governor Tim Walz has directed all flags at state and federal buildings in Minnesota to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, October 19, 2020. Governor Walz has directed flags to fly at half-staff on the 19th of every month through 2020 to remember, mourn, and honor lives lost due to COVID-19.

Posted in Flags at Half-Staff | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

News Release: Minnesota Department of Transportation offers funding to develop Safe Routes to School programs

Minnesota schools and communities wanting to develop safer places for students to walk and bicycle can apply for three different grant opportunities this fall through the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program (SRTS).

Communities and schools can apply for planning assistance grants to help assess current conditions and create plans to improve walking and bicycling through programs and infrastructure. SRTS “Boost” grants support existing SRTS work, like adding bicycles to schools to improve physical education curriculum or addressing a community-specific need to help more students walk and bicycle to school safely. The application deadline for these grants is November 25.

Infrastructure grants can fund projects that create safer streets for students to walk and bicycle. Anyone interested in this funding must submit a letter of intent by October 31.

“This year we’ve learned a lot can change in a student’s life, but walking and bicycling are still ways for kids to just be kids and they deserve to be able to do those activities safely,” said Dave Cowan, SRTS coordinator. “We recognize the challenges schools and communities are facing and this funding can help make safety improvements for the long term.”

After a SRTS plan is developed, schools and communities can use that plan to apply for funds to advance infrastructure such as sidewalks, crosswalks and signage or non-infrastructure solutions such as community engagement, educational programming and encouragement events.

The planning process works to engage stakeholders, analyze existing data and set a prioritized list of strategies to make it safer and easier for youth to walk and bicycle to school.

“Safe Routes to School plans, programs and infrastructure improvements can help communities get students to walk and bicycle to school again,” said Cowan. “This helps students build physical activity into their day, arriving at school refreshed and ready to learn.”

Since 2006, MnDOT has worked with hundreds of schools and communities around the state to fund plans, bike fleets and infrastructure improvements to advance safe routes to school efforts across the state.

Visit the Safe Routes to Schools website to learn more about the grants or programs.

Source: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Posted in grants | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bill Introductions – 5th Special Session

We publish bills every day they are introduced and hope that you monitor these posts, as it keeps you updated and informed about the bills under consideration that may impact school boards and school districts across the state. Whether it is a new mandate, or more/less funding for certain programs it is important for you to know how these bills may impact your district.

Following are the bills that were introduced during Minnesota’s 5th 2020 Special Session.

H. F. 6 / S .F. 16 A bill for an act relating to workers’ compensation; providing a presumption for education employees. (Winkler/Clausen)

H. F. 14 / S.F. 8  A bill for an act relating to telecommunications; establishing a funding program for distance learning equipment; establishing a grant program for telemedicine equipment purchased to deal with COVID-19; requiring reports; appropriating money. (Eklund/ Westrom)

H. F. 16  A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing the use of the prior year’s pupil count for the 2020-2021 school year to reflect COVID-19 changes in enrollment; appropriating money. (Davnie)

H. F. 28/ S.F. 10  A bill for an act relating to open meetings; requiring public comments at all open meetings of public bodies, including those conducted by electronic means. (Nash/Benson)

H. F. 31 A bill for an act relating to education; modifying teacher licensing, hiring, and dismissal. (Erickson)

H. F. 32 A bill for an act relating to education; requiring a public school to provide transportation for nonpublic students on each day the nonpublic student has an on-site instructional day during the 2020-2021 school year. (Jurgens)

H. F. 33 A bill for an act relating to education; employment of short-call substitute teachers. (Erickson)

H. F. 34 A bill for an act relating to education; requiring individualized education programs for the 2020-2021 school year. (Erickson)

H. F. 35 A bill for an act relating to education; authorizing school boards to establish and operate a safe learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year; establishing a parent-based distance learning program for the 2020-2021 school year; modifying the school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year; extending school district fund transfer flexibility; defining distance learning; requiring a report. (Kresha)

H. F. 36 A bill for an act relating to taxation; individual income; modifying the K-12 education expense subtraction and credit; extending the credit to tuition; increasing the subtraction and credit amounts; increasing the income phaseout for the credit; adjusting the credit and subtraction amounts and credit phaseout thresholds for inflation. (Robbins)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weekly Federal Update

Congressional Update 

Pandemic Relief Uncertain After President Trump Ends Talks  

Congressional lawmakers and the White House have been negotiating sporadically, for the past several months, regarding a much-needed additional round of pandemic relief aid. More recently these talks had shown signs of progress, with House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin meeting regularly last week attempting to find agreement. House Democrats successfully passed a pared back version of their relief proposal totaling $2.2 trillion last week and the White House reportedly floated a $1.62 counteroffer to try and reach a deal. Both proposals included significant amounts of emergency relief aid for the K-12 education community to contend with the ongoing pandemic, yet both sides still remained in disagreement on other key issues related to the scope and content of the aid package. On Friday, the Administration offered a $1.8 trillion package that has already been rejected by Speaker Pelosi. Later in the day, the President made a statement he was now supportive of more funding than the $2.2 trillion proposal passed by House Democrats. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has indicated he does not think it likely a deal passes before the election.

The drama over the negotiation began earlier in the week. On Tuesday afternoon, September 6, President Trump unilaterally withdrewfrom the negotiations, arguing that he would seek to prioritize pandemic relief sometime after the upcoming November elections. Although the President formally discontinued these negotiations, members of his own administration have remained hopeful that Congress could pass standalone legislation to provide targeted relief for sectors of the economy where bipartisan agreement has already been reached. On Wednesday, September 7, Assistant U.S. Education Secretary Jim Blew indicatedthat the administration was still open to and seeking negotiations on smaller aid packages targeted at issues such as K-12 and higher education. Despite this openness, House Democrats have largely rejected this approach and have remained committed to passing a comprehensive pandemic relief package. Moreover, in ending the talks on an aid package, President Trump encouraged the Senate to prioritize the confirmation of an additional U.S. Supreme Court Justice—further reducing the likelihood that lawmakers will revisit this issue prior to the November elections. 

Administration Update

Private School Proposal Struck Down in South Carolina

On Monday, September 5, House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), along with Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) wrote a letterto U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to express concerns regarding South Carolina’s use of some of its CARES Act funding. At issue is South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s $32 million Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) grant program which is funded through the state’s Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funding—a flexible component of the CARES Act providing discretionary funding for Governors to address educational needs during the pandemic. Specifically, the SAFE grant program would provide these funds to families to offset the costs of private or parochial school tuition. On Wednesday, September 7, the South Carolina Supreme Court declaredthis program unconstitutional and has prevented the Governor from moving forward with the program’s implementation NSBA filed a brief in the case on Sept. 3 explaining that CARES Act funds were intended to support public schools and students in poverty, and noting the harm caused by voucher programs. During oral argument Justice Kaye Hearn identified NSBA as having drawn the Court’s attention to recent federal court rulings rejecting the U.S. Department of Education’s misinterpretation of the CARES Act’s intent in its filing on the case.   NSBA’s statement on the decisionreflected this significant victory.

Recent Legislation

  • H.R.8535— 116th Congress (2019-2020) To amend the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to direct the Secretary of Education to award grants for new agricultural education programs in secondary schools. Sponsor:Rep. Finkenauer, Abby [D-IA-1]
  • H.R.8534— 116th Congress (2019-2020) To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to allow direct certification of children in households of active duty members of the Armed Forces for certain Federal school meal programs, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Davis, Susan A. [D-CA-53]
  • H.R.8519— 116th Congress (2019-2020) To authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible entities to carry out educational programs that include the history of peoples of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the settling and founding of America, the social, economic, and political environments that led to the development of discriminatory laws targeting Asians and Pacific Islanders and their relation to current events, and the impact and contributions of Asian Americans to the development and enhancement of American life, United States history, literature, the economy, politics, body of laws, and culture, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6]
  • H.R.8486— 116th Congress (2019-2020) To establish a competitive grant program to increase financial literacy instruction in elementary schools and secondary schools. Sponsor:Rep. Gallagher, Mike [R-WI-8]
  • S.4782— 116th Congress (2019-2020) A bill to authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to improve indoor air quality in elementary schools and secondary schools in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency using proven technologies. Sponsor:Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM]
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Governor Walz orders flags at half-staff for fallen firefighters

Governor Tim Walz today joined others states in directing all U.S. and Minnesota flags at federal and state buildings to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Sunday, October 4, to honor firefighters who have been killed or injured in the line of duty.

“This act of recognition honors the goal of bringing every firefighter home safely at the end of every shift,” said Governor Walz. “Minnesota firefighters have served a vital role in responding and protecting people during this year’s tragic fire season on the West Coast.”

Posted in Flags at Half-Staff | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Federal Weekly Update

Congressional Update 

Short-term Spending Measure Averts Government Shutdown 

Late Wednesday night, September 30, the Senate overwhelmingly passed (84-10) a spending measure that extends current federal funding for all government operations and programs, including education, through December 11, 2020. This spending measure was passed by the House last week and was signed into law by President Trump shortly after the bill cleared the Senate on Wednesday night. The legislation puts federal spending on autopilot until lawmakers determine a path forward for longer-term funding beyond December 11. As these efforts get underway, NSBA’s advocacy team will be working to ensure lawmakers appreciate the importance of passing adequate, full-year funding to meet the needs of the K-12 education community. 

Congress and the White House Try Again on Pandemic Relief

Congressional lawmakers, along with the White House, have remained at loggerheads over a new pandemic relief package. This stalemate has lasted for several months, but more recently both the White House and House Democrats have softened their original negotiation positions in hopes of getting a deal prior to the November elections. At the direction of Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, House Democrats crafted a pared-back pandemic relief packagetotaling $2.2 trillion in anticipation of a vote this week. The bill reduces the cost of the previously passed HEROES Act by $1.2 trillion but more than doubles the proposed amount of funding for education purposes. Specifically, the proposal would provide $208.1 billion for education and specifically dedicate $175 billion for the K-12 community. 

Around this same time, the White House reportedly floated a $1.62 trillion counteroffer which likely would include $150 billion in dedicated emergency funding for education. Both sides have been seeking to negotiate this week using these new proposals but have not yet reached a deal. To exert additional pressure on the White House and Congressional Republicans, the House voted on and passed their new $2.2 trillion proposal late Thursday night (October 1). It remains unclear whether this latest move will push the sides closer to a deal as discussions between Congressional Democrats and the White House continue. In an effort to jumpstart negotiations, on October 1 NSBA joined 18 other national education groups in sending a letterto Congress responding to the revised HEROES Act.

FCC Revises Rural Telecommunications Regulations to Boost Student Broadband Access

The Federal Communications Commission, this week, revised tariffs(the rates, terms, and conditions) for rural telecommunications providers to help the companies extend affordable broadband access to students. The tariff revisions took effect on September 30, and the related promotional offerings will be effective through the end of June 2021. While helpful, this change is not sufficient to close the Homework Gap. NSBA is continuing to urge Congress to provide emergency funding to the FCC to ensure that all students—rural, suburban, and urban—that lack access to broadband are connected to online learning. 

Administration Update

USED Announces Grant Funding for Teacher & Principal Programs

On Wednesday, September 30, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced$100 million in grants for three programs aimed broadly at improving teacher and principal effectiveness. The announcement included $63.7 million for the Teacher and School Leader Incentive (TSL) Program; $23.8 million for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Program; and $7.3 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program. Notably, all of the grant awards for the TSL and TQP programs went to applicants located in Opportunity Zones—economically distressed communities where private investments can qualify for tax incentives. A significant amount of SEED grant program awards are also located in these zones, which has been a key priority for the Trump Administration. 

Secretary DeVos Backs Further Away from Equitable Services Proposal  

In early September, a U.S. District Court struck downa proposed interim final rule from USED that was aimed to shift a greater proportion of CARES Act funding to non-public K-12 schools. At the time, USED confirmed that the rule was no longer in effect but appeared to indicate that it might further appeal the district court ruling. Late last Friday, September 25, Secretary DeVos sent a letterto Chief State School Officers saying that she would not appeal this ruling but did emphasize the Department’s continued disagreement over the issue. Moving forward, schools will be required to share pandemic relief funding with private school students using the same federal formula used in ESSA, which is based on the number of low-income students being served. NSBA applauds this latest development which aligns with previous advocacy work done on this issue.  

USED Publishes Q&A on IDEA  

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services published a Question and Answer document“in response to inquiries concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B provision of services in the current COVID-19 environment.” The Q&A is part of a wider Departmental effort to clarify existing legal obligations under IDEA during the pandemic. 

Recent Legislation

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Federal Weekly Update

Congressional Update 

House Passes Continuing Resolution

On Tuesday, September 22, the House voted on an overwhelming bipartisan basis (359-57) to extend current federal funding levels through December 11, 2020. Known as a Continuing Resolution(CR), this legislation is intended to put further consideration of longer-term funding for federal programs, including funding for K-12 education, off until after the November elections. Of note, the CR extends waiver flexibilities for several child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, through the end of September 2021. NSBA has been advocating for these waiver flexibilities throughout the pandemic. These flexibilities are currently set to expire at the end of 2020. The Senate has formally begun its consideration of this legislation and is expected to vote on the legislation early next week—just before current federal funding is set to expire on September 30. Given the bipartisan support for the bill, the CR and nutrition waivers are widely expected to pass before this deadline. 

Pandemic Relief Negotiations Remain Stalled 

Members of Congress, along with the White House, remain in a state of disagreement on the size and scope of a much-needed pandemic relief package. Last week, President Trump voiced support for a $1.5 trillion aid package—a figure much closer to the House-passed HEROES Act totaling over $3 trillion. In a further sign that the parties may be nearing a smaller-scale deal, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday directed her committee chairs to develop a pared-back pandemic relief package likely to total over $2 trillion. This latest development indicates that Congressional Democrats are now softening their earlier negotiation position to attempt to reach agreement. Reports indicate that the chamber could vote on this new proposal as soon as next week. While text of this latest legislative effort is not yet available, most of the pandemic relief proposals to date have included significant K-12 education emergency funding to help schools and districts deal with the ongoing pandemic. 

House Education & Labor Committee Passes Apprenticeship Bill 

Late last week, Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020—a bill that would reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 and modernize the nation’s apprenticeship system. On Thursday, September 24, the House Education and Labor Committee marked-up and passed this legislation on a party-line vote. The comprehensive proposal would, among other changes, create quality standards for pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship programs and increase the alignment of these efforts with education systems to provide clearer pathways for students and learners to access these opportunities. The bill is expected to be considered by the full chamber sometime before the end of the year, but there is no specific date for consideration at this time. More information about the proposal can be found here

Administration Update

USED Announces New K-12 Education Grants 

Under Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the U.S. Department of Education (USED) is permitted to set-aside two percent of this funding for technical assistance and capacity building. As part of these efforts, USED’s Secretary DeVos announcednew funding for two grant programs aimed at helping more students access a broader range of courses (well-rounded courses) and to provide additional resources for schools to deliver USED’s interpretation of personalized learning (student-centered learning) as being interpreted for this measure. For this year, USED plans to provide $9.6 million to several SEAs and LEAs to expand and enhance the delivery of these opportunities, particularly for educationally disadvantaged students. The press release states “The Well-Rounded Education Through Student-Centered Funding Demonstration Grants Program allows funding to follow individual students so that school districts can allocate resources in a way that provides a customized approach to education that considers individual needs in order to improve academic achievement.” 

NSBA notes that funding following students to private schools is not included as part of most definitions for true personalized learning. This includes the definition used by the USED Office of Educational Technologywhich states that “Personalized learning refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) all may vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated.” The interpretation being used by USED for this announcement is not consistent with how most experts on the subject view the practice. It should also be noted some public schools are already engaged in personalized learning by offering a portfolio of different learning options and models allowing for better understanding of the needs of each individual child. NSBA expects personalized learning, as recognized by most credible education experts, to be a growing trend for public schools in the future and the transformation of public schools.

USED Seeks Input on Perkins CTE Innovation Grants 

On Thursday, September 24, USED published noticein the Federal Register seeking public comment and input on the proposed requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act’s (Perkins V) Innovation and Modernization Grant program for fiscal year 2020. This grant program is broadly aimed at supporting evidenced-based projects that will improve and modernize career and technical education programs. Comments are due by October 26. 

Additional Updates 

Equitable Guidance Update: On Friday, NSBA learned that Secretary DeVos has written to the chief state school officers stating they will follow the judicial rulings and will not appeal the decisions that went against them on this issue. The letter also stated “The Department will not take any action against States or local districts that followed the guidance and/or the IFR prior to notice of the court’s decision. Going forward, districts must calculate the minimal proportional share for CARES Act equitable services according to the formula provided in Section 1117(a)(4)(A) of the ESEA of 1965. Section 1117 requires robust consultation with private schools, among other things, and we will use our enforcement authority aggressively to ensure districts comply with this and other relevant equitable services requirements.” 

New Judicial Ruling for Continuing Census: A federal district court has ruled this week that efforts to complete the 2020 Census count are to continue through the end of October, rather than conclude on September 30. With the U.S. Census Bureau’s field operations being impacted by COVID-19, the Bureau initially extended its date for a complete count to October 30. This date was then shortened to September 30, because of an executive order from the White House pertaining to the 2020 Census count and apportionment for congressional representation of districts in the U.S. House of Representatives. With the Census count being extended to October 30, field operations to ensure a more complete count can continue, especially in hard-to-count areas and in underserved communities. The extended date of October 30th is helpful to the ongoing priority of equity in education, as a lower Census count could have a negative and disproportionate impact on students and schools in many communities. More information on the decision can be found here.

Recent Legislation

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment