Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

Next week, Congress returns from summer recess with a long list of legislative priorities and a small window to complete these tasks ahead of the November elections. One of the biggest questions is: How will Congress tackle the FY17 budget? Will there be a short-term Continuing Resolution until after the election? Will Congress negotiate a bipartisan omnibus? Or could we be looking at another government shutdown? As these decisions are being made, many of NASSP’s top appropriations priorities stand in the balance.

Why Should Principals Care?

While the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provided strong authorization levels for many key education programs, the House and Senate Labor HHS Education Appropriations Committees have been less generous with funding of Title II and Title IV among other important programs in ESSA. As a result, the Title IV, Part A Coalition, for which NASSP has been actively engaged, has been actively working to ensure funding for this new flexible block grant is as close to the $1.65 billion authorization as possible. In response to the release of the 48th annual Phi Delta Kappa International Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the coalition issued a strong press release urging appropriators to meet the demands of the public and increase funding for key education programs.

In the Press

Back to School With Budgets Still Tight, The New York Times
In many states, schools continue to struggle from recession-era cutbacks. Should the federal government play a more active role in promoting increased education budgets?

Why Do Kids Go to School? Americans Are Divided on the Answer, a New Poll Shows, The Washington Post
The 48th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was just released with several interesting findings. The full poll can be accessed here: http://pdkintl.org/

Democrats Seek Study on Disparities in School Discipline and Student Absenteeism, Reps. Bobby Scott and John Conyers
Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and John Conyers (D-MI) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting a study of school disciplinary action and chronic absenteeism by level of poverty, racial, and ethnic minority status.

Principal, Not Food Experts, Most Influential in the School Cafeteria, Brookings
As efforts to reauthorize the Child Nutrition program gain steam, should principals be more involved in the discussion?

A Flood of Criticism on Proposed ESSA Regulations, but Will Anything Change?, Brookings
Between May 31 and August 31, the Department of Education received more than 21,000 comments from the public in response to ESSA. How will the department respond to all of these comments?

America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty, Afterschool Alliance
In communities of concentrated poverty, the demand for afterschool programs is much higher than the national average.

High Stakes for High Achievers: State Accountability in the Age of ESSA, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
No Child Left Behind created incentives for schools to focus most, if not all, of their energy on low-performing students, which in many cases resulted in ignoring high-achieving students. The Every Student Succeeds Act presents an opportunity to change that trend.

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