House Committee Makes Big Commitment to Title II Funding For Schools
The House Appropriations Education Subcommittee makes a big commitment to Title II funding for schools, NAESP pushes for full funding of IDEA, and more in this month's update.
Improving Principal Preparation
NAESP is working with other K-12 groups in lobbying Congress to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), which was last authorized in 2008. NAESP and these groups have endorsed the PREP Act, introduced in March by Senators Tim Kaine and Susan Collins. The legislation updates Title II of HEA and focuses on teacher and principal recruitment, preparation, and retention. The bill also includes provisions focused on minority recruitment, “grow-your-own” initiatives, and provisions to address teacher shortages. Most importantly, the PREP Act includes measures to boost clinical-oriented preparation and residency models to better prepare principals to meet the day-to-day challenges in schools.
On April 30, the House Appropriations Education Subcommittee passed a bill that would significantly increase funding for key federal education programs, including a $500 million increase for Title II. The committee and the full House of Representatives still need to take action on the legislation. NAESP will be asking members to contact their members of Congress to help push this bill across the finish line.
In early April, the House Budget Committee advanced legislation that would raise defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) budget caps for FY20 and FY21. NDD would receive $631 billion in 2020 and $646 billion in 2021 – a 5.7-percent increase over current funding levels. Without Congressional action, NDD and defense programs for 2020 and 2021 would be governed by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which would force a 9-percent ($55 billion) cut from the FY19 NDD appropriated level. House Democratic leaders attempted to bring the legislation up for a vote in mid-April, but it was derailed by progressive House members who wanted larger increases in NDD funding and reductions in defense funding. The budget, once passed, will dictate the available funding for the various appropriations committees.
NAESP Pushes for Full Funding of IDEA
In late March, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced an IDEA full-funding bill. The legislation would ensure Congress’ commitment to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) at 40 percent of average per pupil expenditure. Senate cosponsors include Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Pat Roberts (R-KS). In the House, cosponsors include Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA), John Katko (R-NY), Joe Neguse (D-CO), David McKinley (R-WV), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Glen Thompson (R-PA).
In late March, NAESP joined other national organizations in recognizing National Public Schools Week, which celebrated the importance of public schools. A broad group of educators—representing 10 million administrators, teachers, specialists, teacher educators, and school board members—marked the week with events and outreach to their communities, a Capitol Hill briefing, and resolutions in both the Senate and House recognizing the impact of public schools.