Inside the Beltway
What’s going on in Washington?
A potential government shutdown continues to loom on the horizon as it appears that Senate talks for a short-term continuing resolution have broken down. Early last week, all signs pointed to a budget bill that would fund the federal government until early to mid-December. However, by the end of the week Senate Republicans released their own funding proposal that Democratic Senators and Representatives refuse to support. The Senate plans to continue negotiations this week.
Why Should Principals Care?
A government shutdown could lead to some very real problems for public schools and educators. If the government is forced to shut down, most employees at the Department of Education would be furloughed and many operations could be brought to a halt or very slow crawl. This includes any information or aid requested from the Department in relation to loans, grants, or other important services. Funding received by some school districts could also be interrupted. This could prove to be very problematic as many school districts receive more than 20 percent of their funds from Department-funded programs.
National Principals Month
National Principals Month is almost upon us, and NASSP is very excited to announce a number of new events and webinars that will occur throughout October. For more information, visit the National Principals Month webpage.
In the Press
Last Tuesday, the Alliance for Excellent Leadership partnered with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the OECD) for the release of the OECD’s new report, School Leadership for Learning: Insights from Talis 2013. About every five years, the Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) provides cross-country analyses on key education issues to help inform future policy decisions. This report specifically examines different approaches to school leadership and its impact on professional learning communities and on the learning environment in schools.
Last week, the White House and Department of Education released an interactive online resource to help combat and prevent sexual trauma in K-12 schools. A Safe Place to Learn is a tool that will help guide school districts on creating a sexual abuse policy, preventing abuse, and helping students who have suffered from abuse. For more information, you can visit the tool .
Perkins Talks Break Down, Politico
When the House of Representatives passed a bill that reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, many thought that it was finally the year to see Perkins reauthorized. However, recent talks in the Senate regarding Perkins have broken down. Chairman Alexander of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee recently pulled a committee vote on the bill. The main problem seems to be a provision in the Senate bill that would restrict the education secretary’s authority to approve state plans for spending money under law that is for career and technical education programs.
Driving Computer Science Initiatives, Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) had a busy week supporting computer science education. First, Rep. Lee and 67 other members of Congress sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee of Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies, requesting $100 million for the President’s Computer Science for All Initiative. This initiative would aim to provide funding and foster relationships that would help promote computer science programs for all students. To see the letter that was sent, click here. Second, she introduced H.R. 6095, the Computer Science for All Act. This bill would authorize $250 million in new grants to advance computer science education for students in pre-K and all the way through high school.
“Supplement, not Supplant” Under Fire, The Washington Post
Last Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, held a hearing to examine the Department of Education’s new “supplement, not supplant” proposal for how districts spend Title I funds. Although those who participated in the hearing mostly opposed the new rule, there are still many educators and administrators who support the Department of Education’s decision. If you wish to watch the hearing, it can be found here.
New Guidance Aims to Help English Language Learners, U.S. Department of Education
On Friday, the Department of Education revealed new guidelines to help states and local school districts better serve students whose first language is not English. With English language learners now estimated to be nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide, the Department found that it was more important than ever to help states and districts understand how they can spend Title III funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Department also announced last week that it would be awarding $22 million in grants under the National Professional Development Program to help support educators of English learning students as well.