Delivered via email: September 30, 2022
With Congress back in session, a review of recent federal public policy issues affecting K-12 education and employment follows. Points of interest include a statement on teacher shortage solutions, how a budget freeze could affect state school board associations, a hearing deliberating social and emotional learning, as well as a list of links to helpful federal information.
EDUCATORS RELEASE STATEMENT ON TEACHER SHORTAGE SOLUTIONLast week, a group of professional teacher organizations from across the country published a statement on sustainable systems for quality teaching. The statement discusses solutions for the national teacher shortage crisis while arguing that placing under-qualified individuals in a classroom will not correct the systemic issues that existed prior to the pandemic. They maintain that a sustainable system must be created that prepares, retains, and supports teachers through accessible, high-quality teacher preparation, competitive compensation, ample resources, and ongoing professional learning and mentoring opportunities. The positive impact teachers have on students helps ensure we have a dynamic society and skilled workforce as we move into the future. The full release is available online.
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS WRAP UPThe end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 is set for today (Friday, September 30), and Congress has not yet approved a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government operating in FY 2023. Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate the terms of a CR, likely to extend government funding for at least two months. The Senate approved the CR yesterday and it is hoped that the House will follow suit today.
How does this impact State School Board Associations?
The 2023 appropriations process, including the eventual CR, will determine how much money is allocated for the Department of Education and the programs that provide critical support at the district and school levels. If a CR is passed through mid-December, the Department of Education will be funded at 2022 levels until 2023 spending bills are passed. Additionally, there are discussions that a renewal of free school lunch waivers might be included in the CR. If there were a short-term shutdown of only a few days because money for education is mostly forward funding, there would likely be minor impact on public schools.
ED AND LABOR COMMITTEE EXAMINES SOCIAL /EMOTIONAL LEARNINGThe House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing last week regarding “Meeting Students’ Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs.” The panel shared state and district specific data on how communities and schools are addressing student learning loss as a result of the pandemic, and several provided substantive details on how states and districts are using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. The panel agreed that online learning initially saved lives, but not being in the classroom hindered students’ social and emotional development and disrupted their academic experiences. Some members expressed an apprehension that Social Emotional Learning programs are overshadowing more traditional academic subjects like math and reading. An archived recording of the hearing has been posted online.
LINKS FOR FEDERAL HEARINGS, LEGISLATION, AND EVENTSU.S. House and Senate 2022 Schedule
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. Senate Budget Committee
Congressional Budget Office
Federal legislative information