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Closing out the 115th session of Congress: Lame ducks and new beginnings

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Closing out the 115th session of Congress: Lame ducks and new beginnings

Congress is working furiously to conclude the 115th session while laying the ground work for the 116th session set to begin on Jan. 3, 2019. Top priority for this “lame duck” session is finishing work on the FY2019 spending bills as seven remain in a holding pattern as part of a continuing resolution that expires on Dec. 21.  Also on the agenda and of interest to afterschool advocates is the Farm Bill and Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) reauthorizations, as well as a number of marker bills that have been introduced this month as members of Congress  begin to lay out their priorities for the new year.

FY2019 Spending Bills and Continuing Resolutions

You may recall that Congress completed five major spending bills in September before FY2019 began, a feat that had not been accomplished for almost a decade. Among the bills that passed was the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Service and Education Appropriations Act which invested in afterschool programs at record levels. However, Congress did leave seven spending bills as unfinished business: funding for agencies including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, the National Science Foundation, and others which will now expire on Dec. 21. While negotiations have become bogged done over funding for the president’s wall on the southern border, the options that remain on the table include extending the continuing resolution into spring 2019, passing an omnibus bill, or a combination of the two. It is important to note that funding for child nutrition programs like the Afterschool Meal programs and summer food service program are not affected by the spending impasse, as they rely on mandatory funding rather than annual discretionary appropriations bills.

If the White House and Congress cannot agree to terms, a partial government shutdown will occur on Dec. 22 with the seven remaining agencies shuttering their doors until a compromise is reached.

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) reauthorization

Reauthorization of the JJDPA was also negotiated this month after both the House and Senate passed versions of the bill earlier this session, and a bipartisan, bicameral compromise bill was produced. First enacted in 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has been due for reauthorization since 2007. The final version of the bill reportedly contains language from the House-passed iteration that includes afterschool programs as an allowable use of prevention funds. On the night of Dec. 11 the Senate finally passed the bill and the House is expected to vote on the bill by Dec. 21.

Farm Bill

The reauthorization of the Farm Bill, a subject of intense negotiations, passed the House on Dec 12 after passing the Senate 87-13 on Dec. 11. While few provisions impact afterschool programs directly, the bill does establish a new Agricultural Youth Organization Coordinator within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and recognizes the importance of involving youth in farming and ranching through programs like 4-H, Future Farmers of America, and Farm to School. The Agricultural Youth Organization Coordinator position is intended to promote youth-serving organizations and school-based agricultural education, serve as a resource for assisting youth organizations in agriculture in applying for participation in agricultural programs, and advocate on behalf of youth organizations in agriculture in interactions with employees of USDA.

Newly-introduced marker bills

A number of ‘marker bills’  were introduced over the past few weeks that were not necessarily intended to pass this Congress, but signal areas for discussion and debate in the upcoming 116th Congress. Among these bills, several may be of interest to afterschool supporters:

  • DIPLOMA Act: Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif-27) and six cosponsors introduced H.R. 7204, the Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act on Nov. 30. The DIPLOMA Act would provide federal grants to states to support community schools and develop a comprehensive child and youth strategy. States would award subgrants to local consortia, in which a school works with at least one community partner. Community partners can be public or private organizations like local governments or institutions of higher education, local nonprofits or child and youth-serving organizations, or even local businesses or foundations. A community School Consortium receiving grant funds could use them to increase support for early childhood education, early reading programs, child care, home visiting, and parental education, develop programs for students and parents to learn together, offer multiple routes to a high school diploma, support mentoring, and more.

 

  • Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (Keep Our PACT) Act: On Dec. 4 Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced S. 3699 which would require full mandatory funding of part A of Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Title I of ESSA, which gives assistance to America’s highest-need schools, is a critical tool to ensure that every child, no matter the zip code, has access to a quality education. Funds can be used for a variety of uses including support for afterschool and summer learning programs. Over time, Title I has been deeply underfunded. According to the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, the Title I formula was underfunded by $347 billion from 2005-2017. Similarly, IDEA calls on the federal government to fund 40 percent of the cost of special education, but Congress has never fully funded the law. Currently, IDEA state grants are funded at just 14.7 percent. The Keep Our PACT Act would create a 10-year mandatory glide path to fully fund both Title I and IDEA, ensuring that education is a priority in the federal budget. The legislation is supported by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, and AASA, the School Superintendents Association.

On the horizon for the 116th Congress

When Congress returns in January to begin its 116th session, Democrats will control the House of Representatives while Republicans will have a slightly larger majority in the Senate. A crucial priority for both chambers in 2019 will be addressing the return of the sequester and drastic spending caps for FY2020 that would mean a $55 billion cut to non-defense discretionary spending. Additionally, House Democrats have discussed key priorities for the 116th Congress, including increased transparency and accountability for the Executive Branch, as well as a focus on infrastructure and healthcare. With regard to education, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) as the assumed new chair of the soon-to-be renamed House Committee on Education and Labor, will most likely focus on passage of his Rebuild America's Schools Act, H.R. 2475 (115) or its inclusion as part of a larger infrastructure package. The bill would create a $70 billion grant program and $30 billion tax credit bond program designed to improve school buildings in high-poverty schools. It would also create a national database on the condition of public school facilities.

Additional potential priorities for the Education Committee include rigorous oversight of the Department of Education, including the repeal of most Obama administration guidance, as well as ESSA implementation with a particular focus on state plans that do not pay enough attention to underserved students; Higher Education Act reauthorization; and possible movement on the Child Care for Working Families Act H.R. 3773 (115) which would create a federal-state partnership that aims to ensure that families making less than 150 percent of their state's median income do not pay more than 7 percent of their income on child care. Reauthorization of the federal child nutrition programs and the Corporation for National and Community Service (which manages the AmeriCorps and VISTA programs) is also a possibility.

We look forward to working with Congress and afterschool supporters in the new year to increase out of school learning opportunities for all children. Reach out to your member of Congress this month to encourage their support

Midterm election 2018: First look at what the results mean for afterschool

With the dust still settling from the 2018 midterm elections, and several House and Senate races remain too close to call, there are a few conclusions to be made amidst the remaining uncertainty. At the beginning of Tuesday, all 435 House seats were up for grabs along with 35 of the 100 Senate...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/07/18

Afterschool goes to college

After celebrating an updated law in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in July, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” in the education landscape for Congress. One thing on the agenda is the Higher Education Act, or HEA, which governs federal investments in making quality...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/09/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Opioid epidemic response legislation heads to House, Senate for final votes

Update Oct. 9: Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the final compromise opioid legislation (HR 6) in late September and early October – sending the bill to the president’s desk for signature this month. This summer both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/28/18

Final education spending bill increases afterschool funding

UPDATE: Sept. 28: Today the president signed the FY2019 Defense-LHHS-CR spending bill into law. See our statement here for more information. UPDATE: Sept. 19: Yesterday by a vote of 93-7 the Senate approved the conference report for HR 6157, the FY 19 minibus carrying the Defense and...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/14/18

The countdown to the end of the fiscal year is on

The current federal fiscal year (FY2018) ends on September 30, leaving just more than two weeks for Congress to pass spending bills for FY2019. In advance of that deadline, friends of afterschool programs have already sent or made more than 35,400 emails and calls to Congress making the case for...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/12/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

Several newly introduced bills would support afterschool, summer learning

While August is usually a slow month in the nation’s capital and Congress is usually in recess, this year there has been a great deal of activity during the doldrums of summer. In late July Congress passed and the president signed into law a reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/18

Career and Technical Education (CTE) bill passes into law with new opportunities for out-of-school time

On July 31, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” passed into law, reauthorizing the major federal legislation, colloquially known as “Perkins CTE,” which supports students’ educational pathways toward high-skill, high-wage, and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      08/02/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Public charge: What is it and what does it mean for afterschool?

One in four children in America lives in a household with at least one immigrant parent. Recently-proposed changes to the process of gaining citizenship could have major repercussions for communities and programs engaging with these families. Most importantly, these proposed changes could directly...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/30/18

Afterschool goes to college

After celebrating an updated law in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in July, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” in the education landscape for Congress. One thing on the agenda is the Higher Education Act, or HEA, which governs federal investments in making quality...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/09/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Opioid epidemic response legislation heads to House, Senate for final votes

Update Oct. 9: Both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the final compromise opioid legislation (HR 6) in late September and early October – sending the bill to the president’s desk for signature this month. This summer both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/28/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

Several newly introduced bills would support afterschool, summer learning

While August is usually a slow month in the nation’s capital and Congress is usually in recess, this year there has been a great deal of activity during the doldrums of summer. In late July Congress passed and the president signed into law a reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/18

Career and Technical Education (CTE) bill passes into law with new opportunities for out-of-school time

On July 31, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” passed into law, reauthorizing the major federal legislation, colloquially known as “Perkins CTE,” which supports students’ educational pathways toward high-skill, high-wage, and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      08/02/18

How (and why) afterschool programs can ensure a more accurate census

In June, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released their 2018, Kids Count Data Book, State Trends in Child Well-Being. This year’s report in addition to identifying trends in spheres of economics, health, education, family, and community between 2010 and 2016 (find your state’s ranking...

BY: Jillian Luchner      07/19/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Exciting bill aims to facilitate college student work-study participation in afterschool programs

I volunteer each Tuesday at a program called For Love of Children (FLOC) in Washington, D.C. along with volunteers of all ages, including a good-sized contingent of undergraduate student tutors from a work-study program at George Washington University. The college students are an enormously...

BY: Jillian Luchner      07/03/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Final education spending bill increases afterschool funding

UPDATE: Sept. 28: Today the president signed the FY2019 Defense-LHHS-CR spending bill into law. See our statement here for more information. UPDATE: Sept. 19: Yesterday by a vote of 93-7 the Senate approved the conference report for HR 6157, the FY 19 minibus carrying the Defense and...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/14/18

The countdown to the end of the fiscal year is on

The current federal fiscal year (FY2018) ends on September 30, leaving just more than two weeks for Congress to pass spending bills for FY2019. In advance of that deadline, friends of afterschool programs have already sent or made more than 35,400 emails and calls to Congress making the case for...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/12/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Federal afterschool funding update, June 27

June 29, 2018: Yesterday the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed their FY2019 education spending bill, sending it on to the Senate floor with full funding for 21st CCLC afterschool programs. See Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant’s statement here:...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/18

Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee met to mark up the FY2019 education-funding bill on the morning of June 15. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/18/18

Sec. DeVos testifies in front of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

  On Tuesday, June 5, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing on the US Department of Education (ED) FY 2019 budget proposal featuring testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/07/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18

Afterschool awesomeness prevails

When times feel uncertain, and our work seems never-ending, positive moments are all the more important. This can be especially true in advocacy, when a victory can be undone in a matter of minutes, and steps forward are often followed by leaps backwards. Endurance, hope, and determination...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/23/18

Midterm election 2018: First look at what the results mean for afterschool

With the dust still settling from the 2018 midterm elections, and several House and Senate races remain too close to call, there are a few conclusions to be made amidst the remaining uncertainty. At the beginning of Tuesday, all 435 House seats were up for grabs along with 35 of the 100 Senate...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/07/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Final education spending bill increases afterschool funding

UPDATE: Sept. 28: Today the president signed the FY2019 Defense-LHHS-CR spending bill into law. See our statement here for more information. UPDATE: Sept. 19: Yesterday by a vote of 93-7 the Senate approved the conference report for HR 6157, the FY 19 minibus carrying the Defense and...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/14/18

The countdown to the end of the fiscal year is on

The current federal fiscal year (FY2018) ends on September 30, leaving just more than two weeks for Congress to pass spending bills for FY2019. In advance of that deadline, friends of afterschool programs have already sent or made more than 35,400 emails and calls to Congress making the case for...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/12/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Federal afterschool funding update, June 27

June 29, 2018: Yesterday the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed their FY2019 education spending bill, sending it on to the Senate floor with full funding for 21st CCLC afterschool programs. See Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant’s statement here:...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/18

Federal afterschool funding protected in FY2019 House education spending bill

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee met to mark up the FY2019 education-funding bill on the morning of June 15. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/18/18

Sec. DeVos testifies in front of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

  On Tuesday, June 5, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing on the US Department of Education (ED) FY 2019 budget proposal featuring testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/07/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18

Thank you, friends of afterschool!

In February of this year, parents, students, educators, and afterschool providers were faced with the prospect of the complete elimination of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative—the second such...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/02/18

Final education spending bill increases afterschool funding

UPDATE: Sept. 28: Today the president signed the FY2019 Defense-LHHS-CR spending bill into law. See our statement here for more information. UPDATE: Sept. 19: Yesterday by a vote of 93-7 the Senate approved the conference report for HR 6157, the FY 19 minibus carrying the Defense and...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/14/18

The countdown to the end of the fiscal year is on

The current federal fiscal year (FY2018) ends on September 30, leaving just more than two weeks for Congress to pass spending bills for FY2019. In advance of that deadline, friends of afterschool programs have already sent or made more than 35,400 emails and calls to Congress making the case for...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/12/18

House appropriators maintain federal afterschool funding levels

The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2019 education and health funding bill on Wednesday, July 11, after a 13-hour session. The FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/13/18

Federal afterschool funding update, June 27

June 29, 2018: Yesterday the full Senate Appropriations Committee passed their FY2019 education spending bill, sending it on to the Senate floor with full funding for 21st CCLC afterschool programs. See Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant’s statement here:...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18

Afterschool awesomeness prevails

When times feel uncertain, and our work seems never-ending, positive moments are all the more important. This can be especially true in advocacy, when a victory can be undone in a matter of minutes, and steps forward are often followed by leaps backwards. Endurance, hope, and determination...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/23/18

Afterschool funding preserved in proposed FY2018 spending bill, still under attack for 2019

  Update 2, March 23, 8 a.m.: After The House approved the $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus spending package on Thursday in a 256-167 vote, the Senate passed it just after midnight Friday in a 65-32 vote that averted a government shutdown. The bill now goes to President Trump for his...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/22/18

100+ members of Congress call for increase in afterschool funding

This week Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) sent a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter signed by 111 members of Congress to House Appropriations Committee leaders Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) sending a clear message “…to support funding for...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/20/18

Administration slashes federal afterschool funding

Today the Trump administration released their fiscal year 2019 full budget proposal just days after Congress approved topline spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The full budget represents the president’s vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the upcoming fiscal...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/12/18

Federal afterschool funding update, August 24

On Thursday, August 23, the full Senate passed a combined spending bill package, including the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) spending bill and the FY2019 Defense spending bill. The LHHS bill was very similar to the one passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/24/18

Career and Technical Education (CTE) bill passes into law with new opportunities for out-of-school time

On July 31, the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” passed into law, reauthorizing the major federal legislation, colloquially known as “Perkins CTE,” which supports students’ educational pathways toward high-skill, high-wage, and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      08/02/18

June appropriations update: Current outlook for federal afterschool funding

 As we enter June, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and full Committees are in the midst of an aggressive FY 2019 schedule with the goal of passing all 12 spending bills by September 30, 2018, the end of the current federal fiscal year. The Labor, Health and Human Services,...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/04/18

Newly passed legislation will help afterschool programs ensure program safety

While it did not make any headlines, one important piece of legislation tucked into the FY2018 Omnibus Spending bill that passed last month was the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA). CPIA is common sense, bipartisan legislation that attempts to close gaps in access to FBI fingerprint...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/07/18

Federal funding battle triggers government shutdown

Update: Jan. 22, 3 p.m.: A little after noon (ET)  today (Jan 22), Senate Democrats accepted Majority Leader McConnell’s commitment to bring stand-alone immigration reform legislation to the Senate floor by February 8 for an up or down vote to include provisions to extend the...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/19/18

House passes two justice-related bills supporting child well-being

Last week the House of Representatives passed two pieces of juvenile justice-related legislation that will have a positive impact on young people in and out of afterschool programs. On Monday evening, Congressmen Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) and Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) bipartisan Child...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/01/17

New career education bill includes opportunities for afterschool

Update, May 17: (H.R. 2352) unanimously passed out of the House Education and the Workforce Committee on May 17, 2017. Original post, May 12: On May 4, Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) introduced the Strengthening Career and Technical...

BY: Jillian Luchner      05/12/17

Legislation proposed to fight chronic absenteeism

In April, Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) introduced the Chronic Absenteeism Reduction Action (H.R. 1864), which would open up additional funds to be used for strategies to reduce school day absence by amending Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds...

BY: Jillian Luchner      05/05/17

Afterschool funding preserved in proposed FY2017 spending bill, still under attack for 2018

May 8, 2017 update: The President signed the FY2017 spending bill into law last Friday. Read Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant’s statement on the law. May 4, 2017 update: Today, Congress passed its final fiscal year (FY) 2017 omnibus spending bill. The bill passed...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/01/17

New progress on juvenile justice reauthorization bills

Juvenile justice legislation has been on the move in both houses of Congress. On April 4, the House Education and Workforce committee marked up and passed H.R. 1809, sponsored by Rep. John Lewis (R-Minn.), by unanimous voice vote. The bipartisan legislation, similar to last year’s bill H.R....

BY: Jillian Luchner      04/28/17

Sec. DeVos testifies in front of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

  On Tuesday, June 5, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing on the US Department of Education (ED) FY 2019 budget proposal featuring testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/07/18

Sec. DeVos testifies for the first time before House Education Committee

On May 22, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce heard testimony from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, her first appearance before the committee since becoming secretary 16 months ago. The “Hearing on Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/24/18

Secretary of Education DeVos fumbles when asked about afterschool funding

Something noteworthy happened on Tuesday, when Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. Midway through the contentious hearing, DeVos fumbled badly. She dismissed a question...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/21/18

Afterschool shines in ESSA implementation hearing

On July 18, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Education (HEW) convened a hearing entitled “ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts.” The hearing focused on what states have done so far to develop their consolidated state accountability plans for...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/21/17

Secretary DeVos testifies on administration’s education budget

Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on the Trump administration’s newly released FY2018 full education budget proposal. While the hearing mainly focused on school...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/25/17

What to expect as the first ESSA state plan deadline approaches

Since the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed in December 2015, a great deal has been done to get ready for implementation and a great deal is left to happen (including appropriations) before the law goes into full effect in the 2017-2018 school year. Eighteen states aim to submit state...

BY: Jillian Luchner      04/03/17

What will House resolutions of disapproval mean for ESSA implementation?

By Ellen Fern, Managing Director at Washington Partners On Tuesday, February 7, the House of Representatives voted to overturn Obama administration regulations regarding accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as well as regulations relating to teacher-preparation...

BY: Jillian Luchner      02/16/17

Senate confirms Trump nominee Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education

On February 7, the Senate voted to confirm Elisabeth (Betsy) DeVos as the new U.S. Secretary of Education (learn more about Secretary DeVos). Trump’s controversial nominee for the cabinet position received 50 votes in favor of her confirmation and 50 against. The vote...

BY: Jillian Luchner      02/08/17

Panel: When rethinking school governance, afterschool is a piece of the local puzzle

On January 19th, the National School Boards Association and the National School Boards Action Center hosted the Public Education Agenda for America's Success forum. Representatives from both conservative and liberal policy and research institutes came together in Washington, DC to discuss...

BY: Jillian Luchner      01/26/17

Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos testifies in Senate

On Tuesday evening, January 17, 2017, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee convened a hearing to consider President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Michigan philanthropist and education activist Betsy DeVos. During the course of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/17