Advocacy Update

How Are NASSP’s Priorities Faring During the Appropriations Process?

Earlier this year, congressional leaders in both the House and Senate stated their intent to pass all 12 appropriations bills to avoid another end-of-year budget package—a process often referred to as “regular order,” which hasn’t been done since 1996. In late June, House and Senate Appropriations  subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) both released their spending bills. Below is a quick breakdown of how these bills address some of NASSP’s top priorities, and an update on what their current status is: (more…)

A Voucher Bill That Harms Military Families

NASSP has long been an opponent of private school vouchers and an active member of the National Coalition on Public Education (NCPE). Private school voucher policies drain necessary funds from our nation’s public school system, are not required to follow many federal nondiscrimination statutes, and have no concrete proof that they serve students better than their public counterparts.

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Every Student Matters

Guest post by John C. Bartlett

When I woke up the morning after Election Day, my to-do list had a new priority: a visit to my English language learner classroom and a conversation with our 50 students who were getting their first taste of American democracy at work. What did these students want and need from me and their teachers? These students wanted to know that they matter, that someone cared about them, and that they were safe. Essentially, they wanted to know what every student needs to know when they walk through the front door of our schools every day. (more…)

Safe Schools: Are You Ready?

Guest post by Jeff Simon

Many are concerned about the growing reports of school safety incidents. According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, U.S. schools experienced 745 bomb threats in the 2015–16 academic year. And since 2013, there have been 210 school shootings, as reported by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. This escalation of school threats and violence is generating fear and anxiety in students, parents, and educators and wasting precious learning time.

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FY 2018 Omnibus a Major Victory for Education Advocates

Last week, the House and Senate passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill which will fund the federal government for the remainder of FY 2018. This funding package comes after several short-term funding packages, one government shutdown, and a two-year spending deal. There were major concerns that a funding bill wouldn’t get passed before the March 23 deadline due to several controversial riders, but they were ultimately excluded from the legislation to ensure its passage. (more…)

Advocating For School Safety

Less than two weeks ago, we watched in horror as one of the worst school shootings in American history unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—17 students and educators were killed and another 14 were wounded. Sadly, what should be a unique and isolated tragedy is just one more heartbreaking entry in our nation’s long and rapidly growing list of school shootings. At NASSP, one of our guiding principles is that school leaders and staff members, along with community members and leaders, have a shared responsibility to ensure that schools are safe. Our students have a right to attend schools without fear of violence, and we must do more to support a holistic approach to violence intervention and prevention both inside the walls of our schools and out in the community. (more…)

What Would President Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Request Mean for Education?

On February 12, President Trump released his FY 2019 budget request. While the president’s budget is most likely not going to be enacted by Congress, it is still an important document that allows him to highlight the administration’s spending priorities moving forward. Unfortunately, President Trump’s budget called for drastic reductions in nondefense discretionary programs despite Congress recently passing a deal to raise the budget caps. Trump called for the Department of Education (ED) to receive $63.2 billion in FY 2019. This is a $3.6 billion—or 5.4 percent—cut from the amount ED received in FY 2017.

What follows is an analysis of how some of NASSP’s top priorities faired in Trump’s budget request. (more…)

Impacts the New Caps Deal Will Have on Education

For the second time in less than three weeks, the government shut down. At midnight on February 8, funding for the government officially lapsed after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) refused to allow the Senate to hold a vote on another short-term funding package. Fortunately, none of the detrimental long-term impacts of a shutdown were felt, as Congress was able to pass the bill just hours later in the early morning of February 9. This new funding package carries with it greater hope to avoid more budget politics in the future though, as tied to it is a deal to raise the defense and nondefense discretionary spending caps for the next two years. Now that the Appropriations Committees have concrete numbers, they’re able to begin writing the rest of the FY 2018 budget. They have over a month to do so, as the current short-term funding package will expire on March 23. But how will this caps deal influence education, and what does it mean for the remaining FY 2018 budget process? (more…)

Advocacy Update: Government Shutdown

After months and months of short-term funding packages, time finally ran out. The Senate was unable to pass a continuing resolution before January 20 and because of this, the federal government has shut down for the first time since 2013.

Much of the impact K–12 education will face will depend on the length of the shutdown. Most education programs are forward funded, meaning dollars are already designated to go out to programs, regardless of a shutdown. However, the longer the shutdown, the greater the impact that will be felt by schools and districts. Overall, we can break down a shutdown’s impact into three main areas for K–12 education: (more…)