Federal Legislative Report 112-6
Delivered via email: May 14, 2012
The current Congressional session continues to plod along at the federal level with no Constituent Work Week scheduled until the beginning of August. Things have been fairly quiet as no one expects much significant policy work to take place until after the November election.
FEDERAL BUDGET AND EDUCATION FUNDING
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5652 , the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, last week by a vote of 218-99. Although the legislation seeks to stop the across-the-board cuts (sequestration) to education and other programs that are scheduled this January 2013, because of the Budget Control Act, it would lower the overall funding available and impose even deeper cuts to education and other non-defense programs. H.R. 5652 incorporates the House-passed budget resolution, which would fund programs at a level that is $19 billion lower than the Fiscal Year 2013 budget allocation assigned through the Budget Control Act last year.
Currently, the Senate is not expected to consider H.R. 5652. The White House has also stated that the President would veto any legislation that attempts to change the sequester.
MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT (MOE) FOR
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA)
In April, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) rescinded their original guidance on MOE for IDEA. Last summer, the USDOE said that if districts were unable to meet their MOE for IDEA, whether or not it was because of exceptions built into the law, districts did not have to resume spending at the previously higher level. They could use the lower rate of spending as their new benchmark for future special education budgeting. Last month, the USDOE reversed that decision after considerable lobbying by disability advocates who stated that the USDOE’s original interpretation was incorrect and districts must maintain the funding levels it should have met in the prior year, rather than the district’s actual expenditures. The issue may not be settled though; the USDOE will seek public comment.
ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT (ESEA)
REAUTHORIZATION STEP FORWARD
In the first action since the Feb. 28 markup of the two major ESEA reauthorization bills, H.R. 3989 , the Success for All Students Act, and H.R. 3990 , the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on May 3 released the two Committee reports that accompany the bills. That the committee chose to issue House Report Nos. 112-458 and 112-459, which total 1,000 pages, is a sign that the House leadership may be preparing to move forward and take the bills up on the floor. The reports will be published in the Congressional Record when the House reconvenes on May 7. While the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee marked up its still unnumbered version of the ESEA reauthorization on Oct. 19, 2011, the committee report has yet to be released .
This Federal Legislative Report is used to forward information on federal issues from NSBA and other federal sources. Those interested in additional information or signing up for these free reports should contact Susan Hilton .
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