Learning Forward Advocacy
Advocacy update: April 30, 2019
On Tuesday, April 30 the House Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of education spending voted through its FY20 spending bill that includes a $4.4 billion increase in funding for the U.S. Department of Education. This funding would include for Title II-A an increase of $500 million for this critical program. If enacted, Title II-A would receive a total of $2.555 billion next year. The bill also includes substantial investments in the other large k-12 title programs:
- Title I -- $1 billion increase
- IDEA -- $1.05 billion increase
- Title IVA flexible grants -- $150 million increase
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Afterschool programs) -- $100 million increase
The House bill would also add and/or retask $260 million for a Social-Emotional Learning Initiative. Specifically, it would fund the Education Innovation Research Grants at $170 million but refocus its grants on SEL innovations and spend an additional $90 million on SEL related activities through SEED, School Safety National Activities and Full-Service Community Schools. The bill also reserves $125 million in Title IV National Activities funding for STEM and computer science grants.
While these are very large increases compared to what we have seen from the House Appropriations Committee in recent years, they must be taken with a grain of salt. Congress and the President have not yet agreed on an overall spending caps deal and, without one, these programs would all sustain massive cuts below last year’s funding level. Thus, these spending increases will only become law if Congress and the President reach a spending caps deal and the Labor HHS Education spending bill receives its fair share from any agreed-upon increase, something that did not really happen after the last spending caps deal was implemented.
For reactions to the House Subcommittee’s appropriations bill, see Stephanie Hirsh’s statement and a statement from a large coalition of national education associations.
ICYMI: Capitol Hill Briefing
Learning Forward’s Capitol Hill briefing on September 27 was a great success as we shared data at the national, state, district, and school levels providing evidence that professional learning is making a positive impact on teacher practice and student outcomes.
We encourage all educators to watch the briefing and to join us in documenting and providing evidence as we ready for next year.
Evidence, evidence, evidence
Evidence of impact is not optional. From your ESSA plans to Title II to talking with your district superintendent, everyone wants to know when professional development is making an impact and how you know. Learning Forward is here to help. We invite you to join your peers from across the U.S. to share your successes here.
Tell us what Title II funds in your school or district, and most important, what outcomes you see as a result. Outcomes might include improved graduation rates or assessment scores, improvements for specific populations of students, or other indicators that students are experiencing more meaningful learning.
A New Vision For Professional Learning: A Toolkit to Help
States Use ESSA to Advance Learning and ImprovementSystems. This toolkit helps leaders leverage professional learning as
an essential tool in overcoming systemic inequities and guaranteeing
excellence for all.
Agents for Learning Toolkit: A Guide to Amplifying Teacher
Voice and Stakeholder Engagement. This toolkit suggests ways to cultivate teacher voice and agency in policy decisions and the implementation of professional learning.
Webinar series: Speak up for Title II
Learning Forward hosted a series of advocacy webinars designed to help educators build their advocacy skills. Each free webinar provides background information, the legislative status of Title II, and offers practical steps for how you can engage in this critical fight.
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