Federal Advocacy & Public Policy Team
March 26, 2021
NSBA Weekly Update
House Releases Community Project Funding Guidance
On Tuesday, March 23, the House Appropriations Committee formally published guidance regarding the process for Members of Congress to request “Community Project Funding”—the committee’s new term for appropriations earmarks. As previously shared, House appropriations leaders have sought to ensure the new process for requesting earmarks ensures transparency and accountability as reflected in this new guidance. Of note for the K-12 community the “Innovation and Improvement” account for elementary and secondary education, composed of programs most recently funded at $1.1 billion, is eligible for requests from Members of Congress for the upcoming FY 2022 appropriations cycle—a process that must be completed by October 1, 2021 before current funding is set to expire.
Senate HELP Committee Considers Deputy Secretary of Education Nomination
On Wednesday, March 24, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to consider President Biden’s nomination of Cindy Marten to be the next U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education. Since 2013, Marten has been the Superintendent of San Diego’s Unified School District in California. During the hearing, Marten promoted summer learning programs as an effective strategy for districts to consider when determining how best to combat student learning loss due to the ongoing pandemic. In addition, she highlighted her own experiences as superintendent when addressing the issue of school reopening’s. Marten also voiced support for the U.S. Department of Education’s recent decision to require states to move forward with federally mandated standardized assessments. The committee is expected to formally vote on Marten’s nomination in the coming weeks and she is widely expected to be confirmed by the full Senate shortly thereafter.
House Hearing Explores Educational Equity Post-Pandemic
On Thursday, March 25, the House Education and Labor Committee’s Early Childhood, Elementary,
and Secondary Education Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Lessons Learned: Charting the Path to Educational Equity Post-COVID-19.” Witnesses included:
- Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
- Jennifer Dale, Parent, Lake Oswego, OR
- Selene A. Almazan, Legal Director, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc.
- Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
The hearing focused on a slew of K-12 education topics and issues brought to the forefront due to the ongoing pandemic. Much of the discussion centered on schools returning to in-person instruction, along with an exploration of how states and school districts plan to make use of federal pandemic aid made available through the recently… [READ FULL NSBA Federal Update 3-26-2021]