Education Week - July 18, 2018 - 23
Education Action in Congress: A Midsummer Roundup
Funding, personnel get time on agenda
By Andrew Ujifusa
Education hasn't been a top priority for Congress during the first 18 months of
the Trump administration. But lawmakers have begun paying the issue somewhat
more attention in recent weeks through the annual appropriations process, and
through the consideration of proposals related to career and technical education,
nominees to work under U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and children's
Below is a round-up of recent action on Capitol Hill that affects education.
Spending Bills Move Forward
The House and Senate both advanced
bills funding the U.S. Department of Education for fiscal 2019. Both provide overall
increases for the department and both reject
several key proposals from President Donald
Trump's budget blueprint.
The Senate bill would provide $71.6 billion
for the department for the year, while the
House legislation would provide $71 billion.
Both would increase funding for a flexible
block grant for districts under Title IV, charter schools, and special education grants to
Not all programs get the same level of
funding in both bills. Title I for disadvantaged students would get flat-funded at
$15.8 billion in the House legislation, while
the Senate bill would provide it a $125 million increase.
The bills also include level funding-
$2.1 billion-for professional-development
grants for educators under Title II and
$1.2 billion for after-school programs. The
Trump administration wants to eliminate
those two programs for fiscal 2019.
The House and Senate appropriations
committees had approved their chambers'
respective education funding bills as of last
week, and they awaited action from the full
Momentum for CTE Overhaul
The Senate education committee addressed a top White House priority when it
gave the thumbs-up for legislation to over-
Print Ad (HAlf-PAge)
haul the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act in late June.
The committee advanced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the
21st Century Act, which would allow states
to establish their own goals for CTE programs without getting them cleared by the
secretary of education. However, the bill also
requires states to make "meaningful progress" toward those goals.
Committee lawmakers passed the legislation unanimously. The vote followed lobbying
efforts by the Trump administration to make
progress on Perkins legislation that included
Capitol Hill visits by Trump's daughter and
senior adviser, Ivanka Trump. Business
groups have also pushed hard for Congress
to make progress on reauthorizing the law,
last accomplished in 2006.
The House also passed legislation to reauthorize Perkins last summer, also on a bipartisan basis.
CHIP Funding Preserved
Meanwhile, a push by the Trump administration to claw back money from the Children's Health Insurance Program passed the
House but fell short in the Senate.
Trump's budget-rescission package would
have revoked about $7 billion in unobligated
money for CHIP, which provides health insurance to children from low-income backgrounds. (The total Trump rescissions package totaled $15 billion.)
The rescissions would have come from a
portion of CHIP that reimburses states for
certain expenses and a separate fund that
helps states deal with higher-than-expected
enrollment in the program. Supporters of
the plan said it would help rein in federal
spending, but critics charged it could leave
the CHIP program vulnerable to underfunding in the wake of an economic downturn.
DeVos Gets Top K-12 Deputy
DeVos chalked up a win when the Senate
confirmed Frank Brogan to be the assistant
secretary for elementary and secondary education, the top K-12 post at the Education
Brogan served as Florida's education commissioner from 1994 to 1999 and then served
as the state's lieutenant governor under
Gov. Jeb Bush from 1999 to 2003. Previously,
he served as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in Martin County, Fla., schools.
He championed school choice and higher
academic standards, as well as cuts to Florida's education department staffing levels.
Brogan had been serving as a senior aide
under DeVos for several months while awaiting Senate confirmation.
The Senate confirmed Brogan a few weeks
after giving the green light to Kenneth L. Marcus, Trump's nominee to serve as assistant secretary for civil rights under DeVos. However,
the Senate still hasn't confirmed Jim Blew,
Trump's nominee to serve as the assistant
secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy
development at DeVos' department.
Show Us the Data
A State-Level Data Dashboard Portal Case Study
wisconsin's department of public
Instruction provides a robust
state-level data dashboard portal,
wIsedash, to deliver insights
to its community stakeholders.
additionally, wIsexplore is using
this data to partner with districts
for school improvement.
* Kurt KIefer, assistant state
department of public Instruction
* judy sargent, school
improvement services director,
wIsexplore, Cesa 7
* melIssa straw, manager, data
warehouse and decision support
team, wIsedash, wisconsin
department of public Instruction
Content provided by
* Holly Kurtz, director,
education week research Center
FREE WEbinaR: wednesday, july 25, 2018 / 2:30 to 3:30 pm et / www.edweek.org/go/webinar/datadashboard
EDUCATION WEEK | July 18, 2018 | www.edweek.org | 23