Federal Issues

School Medicaid funding at risk in ACA repeal

The National School Board Association and 59 other organizations are urging Congress to oppose HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would cut Medicaid funding that schools use to serve special education and other students. The vote on the bill, which is the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, is scheduled for today. One section of the AHCA cuts $880 billion in Medicaid funding to schools over the next 10 years, a 25 percent reduction in the reimbursement schools receive for in-school services such as speech, physical therapy and behavioral therapy. It will also...

Read more...

NSBA update 2017 federal budget

Early Monday, congressional leaders filed a consolidated appropriations bill (H.R. 244) to fund education and other programs throughout the remainder of FY2017. The text of the bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education is available here. The House Committee on Rules is scheduled to consider the bill today, in order to establish the terms and conditions for House floor debate that is expected Wednesday. Overall, the FY 2017 omnibus bill (H.R. 244) results in a net cut of $1.1 billion compared with comparable 2016 funding levels, but the bill would provide more than a $1...

Read more...

Take Action Now: Obamacare Repeal would hurt students with disabilities; NSBA urges ‘No’ vote

The National School Boards Association is urging education advocates to call their U.S. House members and urge them to vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act, a vote which may come up as early as Wednesday. The following news release was issued by NSBA: ACT NOW: OBAMACARE REPEAL CUTS MEDICAID FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS This Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives will be moving forward to consider legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." After a month of negotiations and changes to the original bill filed in March, House members plan to vote on the American Health Care...

Read more...

Trump signs executive order on federal education regulations

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order allowing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to propose getting rid of any federal regulations she determines intrude unlawfully on state and local control of public schools. National School Board Association President Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gentzel said NSBA was “encouraged” that the executive order was “reaffirming the state and local role in K-12 education decision making” and looked forward to working with the administration in reviewing the federal provisions and requirements. “Restoring governance to local decision-makers, including school boards which represent their community’s beliefs and values and know...

Read more...

Proposed changes to E-Rate could negatively impact low-income and rural areas

Proposed changes to a program that provides federal subsidies for education technology to schools could result in less support for schools and libraries in low-income areas, according to the National School Board Association. The Federal Communications Commission is considering changes to the E-Rate program, which provides $3.9 billion in subsidies to schools, libraries and communities for broadband/internet access and internal connections. Policymakers are considering a new per pupil distribution formula which could affect students, especially in rural areas, in the following ways:  It would impact a cornerstone of the E-Rate program: equitable distribution of E-rate discounts that focuses funding on those...

Read more...

Special: Kansas schools could lose critical funding under Trump budget proposal

If President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint for the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is enacted, Kansas schools could lose $60 million in federal funding that supports smaller class sizes, after-school and summer school programs and the education of military-connected children. The proposal also adds $1.4 billion in increased funding for school choice programs. Federal funding comprises roughly 8 percent of the state’s education revenue stream. The Trump administration released its budget blueprint in mid-March. The preliminary document sets overall goals and key priorities for federal agencies, with detailed departmental budgets scheduled to be released next month. While Congress traditionally...

Read more...

NSBA issues call to action to avoid government shutdown

The National School Board Association is encouraging education advocates to contact their members of Congress and urge them to avoid a government shutdown and approve appropriations for education and other federal programs. Congress has until midnight Friday to make a deal on spending before government funding expires. NSBA would like Congress to pass a funding measure that will maximize preK-12 education investments; prioritize funding for special education and sustain Title I grants. Please click here to contact your congressional representative and tell them to support investments in public education.

Read more...

Feds release new ESSA guidelines

On April 10, the U.S. Department of Education released the first substantive guidance regarding implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) since the accountability and state plan regulations finalized under the Obama Administration were repealed on March 27. The  Dear Colleague Letter addresses specific issues relating to the identification of schools for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement for the 2017-18 school year and "meaningful consultation" requirements in ESSA. For the 2017-2018 school year, and with the absence of federal regulations, the Department clarifies that states without an approved ESSA state plan must continue to provide supports and interventions...

Read more...

Moran meets with SBOE on Federal Issues

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran told the Kansas State Board of Education Saturday that President Donald Trump's budget proposal for education has little support in Congress. Trump's 2018 budget blueprint for the U.S. Department of Education eliminates $17 million to $18 million that Kansas schools have used to pay for teacher professional development, hiring additional staff to reduce class sizes, improving classroom technology and promoting STEM initiatives. Moran said federal funding for education will likely continue at a relatively flat level. Trump's budget also proposes diverting $20 billion in education funds to a voucher program. The Senator said such a move would...

Read more...

State Board to hold special Saturday meeting on federal issues

The Kansas State Board of Education will meet with U.S. Senator Jerry Moran at 9 a.m. on Saturday to discuss federal education issues. Education Commissioner Randy Watson will kick off the meeting with a presentation on the State Board's Kansans Can vision for the success of each Kansas student. The remainder of the hour-long meeting will focus on the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, Title program funding, the Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government until April 28, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The meeting will wrap up with Moran...

Read more...