NASSP Weekly Federal Policy Update

Announcements:

Debate on House HR 1 Continues: H.R.1, the bill proposed by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) known as the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, continues to be debated on the House floor after a late night of debates last night. The current Continuing Resolution that the government is operating under expires on March 4, so action is needed soon on another CR to avoid government shut-down. HR 1 seeks to slash several billion from the FY 2011 budget in order to reduce the federal deficit, and would cause drastic cuts to education, so we’re calling upon you to take action. H.R. 1 would impose the greatest education cut in history, cutting education programs by over $10.5 billion or 15.4%. We cannot afford to let this legislation pass and we need you, as a school leader advocate, to help us convince members of Congress why. The final vote in the House may occur tomorrow, so we need you to act TODAY: Go here http://app3.vocusgr.com to send a letter to your members of Congress to oppose such a heavy blow to education funding. Read more on the status of FY 11 appropriations in the News section below.

President Obama Releases FY 2012 Budget Request: President Obama proved that his words in his State of the Union Address to invest in education were not just rhetoric when he called for a $2 billion increase in education funding over last year’s budget request, compared to a 5-year funding freeze for other discretionary programs in his FY 2012 budget request. NASSP applauds the President for his investment in education but is concerned about the consolidations of key programs valuable for school leaders and is also disappointed in his greater investment in competitive grants (Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation) versus formula grants like Title I and IDEA that our highest-need students really need. Read NASSP Executive Director Gerald N. Tirozzi’s statement on the President’s Budget Request: http://www.nassp.org.

Secretary Duncan’s comments on competitive vs. formula funding: “The President’s proposal to fix the No Child Left Behind Act focuses on schools and students at-risk and on meaningful reforms that will help these students succeed…. He does not want those programs dedicated to at-risk students to become competitive. And, he does not want to reduce the funds distributed by formula.” For more information visit www.ed.gov.

News

Public Education Targeted in new Oklahoma Legislation

Oklahoma state officials have approved several bills aimed at redesigning the state’s public school system. The legislation includes a requirement that the state Department of Education issue letter grades for public schools and a restructuring of the state Board of Education. State Sen. Clark Jolley, who authored one of the bills, said of the new legislation, “I think we’ve worried far too long about the people that are in the system, from the administrators’ side and the teachers’ side, and we haven’t cared as much about the students as we should”. To read more visit www.edweek.org

States Prepare for Long, Drawn Out Budget Battle

At a time when state and local governments are sorely in need of federal financial aid, Obama’s education heavy budget plan will have a difficult time passing a Congress intent on decreasing federal spending. “It’s going to be really hard to work out a compromise. We’re worried we’re going to end up with a government shutdown” says Joel Packer, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding. State and local governments are already gearing up for a tough year financially, drastically cutting education spending and preparing for teacher layoffs. To read more visit www.washingtonpost.com

National Summit Brings Teachers, Administrators Together for Common Goal

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