Federal Update: Congress returns next week

Federal Update: Congress returns next week

For most of the last month, federal legislators have spent their time working outside of Capitol Hill, many in home states and districts, as part of Congress’ annual August recess. Lawmakers are expected to return next week with a busy agenda in front of them. With the federal fiscal year ending on September 30, lawmakers need to finalize federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding legislation for the federal government and related programs. However, with time running short, Congress will most likely pass a temporary funding legislation known as a continuing resolution (CR), which would extend current FY22 funding levels for a specified period of time. 

Nation’s Report Card results highlight student learning loss 

The U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Known informally as the nation’s report card, these latest results are the first nationally representative dataset that provide insights into student achievement and learning prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to now. Average scores for students aged 9 in reading and mathematics declined by 5 percentage points and 7 percentage points, respectively – the largest average score decline since 1990 and the first decline in the average math scores for students since the inception of NAEP. The findings underscore the impact the pandemic has had on student learning, with many students still remaining behind. The full results can be found here and a statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona regarding these findings can be found here.

Biden administration announces further actions to address teacher shortages

On August 31, the Biden administration announced a series of additional actions aimed at addressing persistent nationwide teacher shortages. These efforts include new partnerships with the private sector to help increase awareness about career pathways leading to the teaching profession and the creation of new jobs portals to help facilitate prospective candidates with job opportunities. In addition, the Biden administration unveiled a series of efforts aimed at leveraging apprenticeship and career and technical education (CTE) programs to prepare the next generation of educators. More on this announcement can be found here.

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