Below are the National School Boards Association’s Legislative Highlights from July 14, 2014:
NSBA federal advocacy improves FCC policy on E-Rate
NSBA successfully advocated for changes in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed policy to modernize the E-Rate program for schools and libraries. NSBA applauded the changes made by the FCC on July 11 including a “safety net” to protect Priority 1 funds for Internet connections in the event that funding is insufficient to approve all applications for broadband and Wi-Fi. The Commission further committed to seeking public input on future E-Rate funding. In a July 1 letter to the FCC, NSBA expressed deep disappointment with the Commission’s initial plan to redirect E-Rate funds to broadband and Wi-Fi at the possible expense of Internet connectivity and to make other structural changes to the program.
The new E-Rate framework is intended to go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. NSBA will closely monitor the implementation process, including release of a Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to seek public input for future funding needs.
NSBA advises Department of Agriculture, White House on Child Nutrition Bill
NSBA met with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Under Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Concannon, and “Let’s Move!” Executive Director Sam Kass, along with additional organizations, to discuss problems implementing new regulations for school meals stipulated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFK). NSBA called for recognition of the impact of the legislation on school district budgets and operations.
NSBA urged policymakers and advocates to be mindful of the cumulative effect of the law’s requirements across school systems that are also implementing Common Core State Standards, Elementary and Secondary Education Act waivers, administering assessments, ensuring a highly-effective teacher in every classroom, and ensuring that ‘the wheels of the bus go ‘round and round.’ With reauthorization of the child nutrition law due in 2015, it is vital that school nutrition programs are supported financially and incorporate local flexibility and authority. Read NSBA’s position on child nutrition.
NSBA presents at AASA Legislative Advocacy Conference
NSBA presented at the AASA (the School Superintendents Association) Legislative Advocacy Conference on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The focus was on NSBA’s assessment of the current law and the priority issues for the next reauthorization during the panel presentation.