Things you need to know:

  • Light Day at the Capitol
  • Congress Scheduled to Vote on Spending Plan
  • Public Ed Plaintiff Group Files Capital Lawsuit

Light Day at the Capitol

Today was a light day at the Capitol. Both the House and Senate met briefly on the floor but did not discuss any education related bills. There is talk that the budget could happen sometime this week, but we will keep you updated as we find out more information.

Congress Scheduled to Vote on Spending Plan

Today, an appropriation bill to fund government programs through the remainder of FY 2017 was filed. The House Committee on rules is scheduled to hear H.R. 244 tomorrow at 3:00pm and the full House is expected to debate the bill on Wednesday, May 3rd.

H.R. 244 would provide a $1 billion increase above FY 16 investments for crucial programs such as Impact Aid, Title I grants for disadvantaged students, special education and the new Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants. ASBA, along with NSBA, worked hard to ensure these key programs were a priority in FY 17 appropriations bill. View the letter from NSBA regarding the FY 17 appropriations.

Thank you to everyone who contacted members of Congress regarding this issue. We appreciate your advocacy efforts in ensuring that Congress invests in our students and our school districts.

Below are the major provisions of H.R. 244:

  • Impact Aid – $1.33 billion, an increase of $23 million above FY2016. Impact Aid provides flexible support to local school districts impacted by the presence of federally owned land and activities, such as military bases. The bill rejects the previous Administration’s proposed elimination of this federal property program, and instead, includes a $2 million increase for the program.
  • Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies – $15.5 billion, a $550 million increase above FY2016, including $450 million from the consolidation of the School Improvement Grants program. This funding level is $447 million more than the level included in ESSA for FY 2017, and will help states in the first full year of implementation as responsibility and accountability for schools shifts to states and school districts. Title I provides basic and flexible funding to low-income school districts and allows states, local school districts, and schools to decide how to best use limited resources to improve student outcomes.
  • Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants – $400 million for this new formula block grant to help support activities to provide students with a well-rounded education, ensure safe and supportive learning environments, and use technology to improve instruction. This represents a $122 million increase over the combined FY2016 funding levels for programs eliminated to create this new formula block grant.
  • IDEA Grants to States – $12 billion for grants to states under part B of the IDEA, a $90 million increase above FY2016, to support special education services for children with disabilities.

Public Ed Plaintiff Group Files Capital Lawsuit

ASBA, along with other public education organizations, held a press conference today at Landmark Elementary School in the Glendale Elementary School District, to announce the capital lawsuit filed this morning on behalf of public school districts across the state.

For more information on the background of the lawsuit and what’s to come, click here.