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.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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