Advocacy Update

Inside the Beltway

Congress returned this week and took up a bill rejecting the Iran deal. The bill did not pass, which paves the way for the deal to go forward. The threat of a government shutdown is hanging over Congress with only a few legislative working days until the new government fiscal year begins on October 1. Conservative Republicans have threatened to filibuster if Planned Parenthood is not defunded in the budget but Republican Party leadership is eager to avoid being blamed for another government shutdown and is conscious of the party’s position heading into a major election year. A short-term continuing resolution is likely in the next week to allow Congress to reach a deal. Other major programs are set to expire through the fall and the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money on October 29.

ESEA is still being discussed amongst education staffers and we expect to see more public news about a conference committee in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, education advocates are focused on appropriations and other bills waiting in the queue such as the Higher Education Act.

In the Press

Parents Spending Less on Back-to-School Season Despite Growing Lists of Supplies, New York Times

As school leaders know, with rising demands and declining funding, parents and students are asked to shoulder more of the financial burden for supplies. School supply lists may be growing, but the National Retail Federation expects back-to-school spending to decrease this year over last year.

The Surprising Roots of the Common Core: How Conservatives Gave Rise to ‘Obamacore,’ Brookings

This paper looks at the roots of the Common Core State Standards and how they came to be a major talking point in the Republican presidential primary. A complete 40-page history and analysis documents the Common Core’s roots in the Reagan era and how it emerged from a populist idea to a conservative punching bag.

The State of the Charter School Movement, Bellwether Education

In this new publication, Bellwether Education examines the state of the charter school movement, which over the past decade has seen tremendous growth. Today, nearly 3 million students attend charter schools nationwide, representing 6 percent of total K–12 students. Charter schools continue to be controversial and this paper seeks to bring to together data from a variety of sources to paint a comprehensive picture of charter schools today and their major challenges.

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