Federal Advocacy and Weekly Policy Update

Federal Advocacy and Weekly Policy Update

Congressional Updates

House Approves Temporary Federal Funding Measure
With the next federal fiscal year only days away, and a full slate of unfinished appropriations bills stuck in various stages of the legislative process, Congress must quickly approve a stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government’s doors open beginning October 1.

Administration Updates

Department of Education Publishes Special Education Guidance
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education published new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guidance, “Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth with Disabilities” which describes how federal funds can be used by states and school districts to support dual enrollment, comprehensive transition, and other postsecondary education programs for students and youth with disabilities. Among other topics, the guidance discusses opportunities for students with disabilities to enroll in postsecondary education programs, while still in high school, and opportunities for students and youth with disabilities to enroll in comprehensive transition and other postsecondary programs for individuals with disabilities after leaving high school.

U.S. Department of Education Highlights U.S. Census Bureau Program
The Department of Education highlighted the Statistics in Schools program, which is a Census Bureau initiative that uses census data to create classroom materials for PK-12 schools. The Department’s announcement notes that “new activities designed for the 2019-20 school year highlight the 2020 Census and the importance of making sure everyone is counted — especially children. Census responses drive decisions on the allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funds to states and communities, including support for school programs and services such as Title I, special education grants to states, Head Start, and the National School Lunch Program.”

Notable K12 Bills

• H.R.4389 To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide additional amounts of loan forgiveness to teachers of English learners, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]
• H.R.4381/S.2499 To effectively staff the public elementary schools and secondary schools of the United States with school-based mental health services providers. Sponsor: Rep. Clark, Katherine M. [D-MA-5] and Sponsor: Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]
• H.R.4371 To authorize funding to strengthen investments in the nation’s postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs and build connections across the entire education and workforce development system. Sponsor: Rep. Trahan, Lori [D-MA-3]
• H.R.4301 School Shooting Safety and Preparedness Act Sponsor: Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]
• S.2492 A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide best practices on student suicide awareness and prevention training and condition State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and tribal educational agencies receiving funds under section 520A of such Act to establish and implement a school-based student suicide awareness and prevention training policy. Sponsor: Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO]

NSBA Updates

NSBA attended a series of meetings at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this week to discuss the digital divide and the recent proposed rules that will impact E-Rate. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel complimented the school boards and education community for their aggressive campaign in support of E-Rate and broadband in learning. She indicated the effort has been helpful and urged continued advocacy going into the future. NSBA stressed the desire to work with the FCC on the broader issue of connecting more students to high-speed broadband.

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