Congress

A Busy July for Congress

Following the July 4 recess, Congress returns with a laundry list of bills and policies to complete prior to August—and a limited amount of time in which to do it. As of now, there have been no indications from either chamber that Congress is planning to eliminate August recess, so the time crunch to complete these projects is significant. The House may have the easier path of both chambers, as their main goal is to pass all 12 appropriations bills by the end of the month. While this is still a difficult task, House Democratic leadership has a path forward and work has already begun. (more…)

NASSP Plays Pivotal Role in First Steps to Secure COVID-19 Response Funding for Schools

As schools across the country are forced to prolong closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), educators and districts need resources as they continue to find ways to serve their students. Fortunately, schools should soon see some additional federal dollars to help them navigate these uncharted waters. Congress recently introduced a third COVID-19 supplemental package, S. 3548, the CARES Act. This bill is a $2 trillion relief bill that will provide funds for a variety of different areas to aid businesses, organizations, education institutions, and individuals as they all respond to the current upheaval caused by COVID-19. (more…)

Advocacy Update: NASSP Advocacy Leads to Big Increases for Programs Benefitting Principals and Students

After months of tumultuous negotiations, Republicans and Democrats finally struck a deal for the FY 2020 budget, avoiding a possible government shutdown right before Congress’ scheduled holiday break. Earlier this week, lawmakers reached an agreement and President Trump is planning on signing two different omnibus packages that contained the 12 appropriations bills that fund the federal government. Education funding was a big winner in this final package, with many of NASSP’s priority programs seeing increases for the first time in several years. Overall, the package provides a total of $72.8 billion for the Department of Education (ED), $1.3 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level. Some of NASSP’s highest-priority programs received substantial funding increases in the FY 2020 package, including: (more…)

Announcing the 4th Quarterly Principal Advocate Champion

Every quarter, the NASSP Policy & Advocacy Center recognizes outstanding volunteer advocates who dedicate their time to advancing the policy and civic priorities of school leaders, public education, and students across America. The Principal Advocate Champion is someone who has made a powerful impact on the direction of public education policy through their personal engagement with state and federal policymakers and their ability to organize grassroots support behind NASSP advocacy initiatives. (more…)

Leveraging Title IV, Part A to Create Safe and Supportive Schools

Guest post by Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach

Principals have a responsibility to ensure student safety while also providing a supportive environment that is conducive to learning. This requires a careful balance of addressing physical safety while also addressing the psychological safety of students. Despite the current focus on arming teachers and other school personnel, this tactic does not improve school safety, carries significant risk, and can actually undermine the learning environment. Rather, reasonable physical security measures include: (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: Analysis of Tax Reform and Its Impact on Education

After months of debate, conferencing, and closed-door deals, Republicans in Congress passed a sweeping tax reform bill—H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—that was signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.

While the bill has implications that will undoubtedly affect all Americans, there are several components that may directly affect schools, educators, and students: (more…)

Advocacy Update

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown last week by passing a continuing resolution through January 19, 2018. Congress also passed a sweeping tax overhaul that was signed into law by President Trump.

Why Should Principals Care?

Congress avoided a government shutdown in December by passing a continuing resolution (CR) that provides level funding for the government through January 19. (more…)