Good morning all
This note was sent to the AASA Advocacy Network, Executive Committee, Governing Board, State Executives and State Lobbyists lists, as well as a handful of additional AASA communities (including our Large County Consortium, our Collaborative, and our Superintendent Certification Academies, among others). If you are NOT a member of the AASA Advocacy Network but are interested in these types of updates, please email Noelle (email@example.com) to subscribe. Apologies for cross-posting.
We hope this email finds you having enjoyed your holidays and preparing to ring in the New Year. On behalf of our advocacy team, thank you for all of the support in 2015, most notably the extensive outreach and mobilization around the Every Student Succeeds Act. We truly appreciate it!
We have embedded in this email the final AASA Advocacy Update for 2015, which includes a look at things to anticipate in 2016. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Additional Ways to Engage: We also offer a weekly Legislative Update, sent on the weeks that Congress is in session, and designed to be more brief than the long-form advocacy updates. You can check out our latest Legislative Corps Update here. To sign up, please email Leslie Finnan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AASA Advocacy (Sasha, Leslie & Noelle)
AASA Advocacy Update
ESSA: Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, bring the 8+ year effort to reauthorize No Child Left Behind to a close. We have covered the contents of the bill extensively on the blog. You can access an AASA slide show (with audio) with an overview of ESSA, as well as view an archive of Implementing ESSA: What to Expect in 2016, hosted by the Fordham Institute and featuring AASA advocacy.
Specific to rural, we want to flag four things:
The next push related to ESSA will be implementation, which will include regulations and guidance to further flesh out federal definitions and parameters. USED released a Dear Colleague Letter to State Education Agencies (SEAs) and published a Request for Information(RFI) seeking advice and recommendations concerning topics under Title I of the new law for which regulations are required/expected. It is an important opportunity for stakeholders—like AASA—to provide specific feedback on what those regulations should establish and require.
Appropriations: Congress avoided a shutdown. Congress had failed to complete its appropriations work before the federal fiscal year expired on September 30, and had adopted a short term continuing resolution that expired on December 11. They punted with one more 5-day CR before adopting a final omnibus spending bill. The final FY16 bill totals $1.1 trillion and includes slight increases to education, with discretionary education funding increasing by just over $1.1 billion. AASA continues to serve on the board, and as the past president, of the Committee for Education Funding, which released a table of spending levels.
Tax Extenders: The omnibus did not pass on its own; it was coupled with a package of tax extenders, including three we want to flag for you here:
· USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance outlining schools’ responsibilities under Title IX when partnering with certain outside organizations that provide single-sex programs to a district’s students. The letter explains the circumstances under which a district may lawfully work with “voluntary youth service organizations.” Title IX generally bars districts both from excluding students from educational opportunities based on their sex and from providing significant assistance to outside organizations that do so, but it allows schools to work with certain organizations that limit membership by sex.
Noelle M. Ellerson
Associate Executive Director, Policy & Advocacy
AASA: The School Superintendents Association
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