AF Weekly Tip Sheet: Policy and Advocacy (9/22)

Below is the latest America Forward “Tip Sheet,” a weekly update on Federal activity related to education, workforce development, and other priorities of the America Forward Coalition.

What’s Next in Washington

Last week, Congress was in session and talks continued in regards to the Continuing Resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2021. The CR legislation was introduced today by House Democrats which will provide funding through December 11, 2020. Hill Republicans have criticized the bill saying in part it does not include emergency funding for agriculture. The House is expected to bring the bill to the floor this week because House Democratic leaders are eager to vote on the CR so the Senate has time to take it up before September 30, when current funding expires.

While negotiations on a CR moved forward last week, very little progress was made on getting to an agreement on a COVID relief package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier last week that the House will not recess until another COVID package is done and that the package must provide $2.2 trillion in funding; however, the Senate Republicans have indicated they are not interested in negotiating on any package larger than $800 million. The President did express support for a funding package larger than the Republicans’ offer; however, it is unclear whether a concrete proposal from the White House is forthcoming. So for now, negotiations remain stalled.

Letter: Increased Federal Support for Today’s Students

Last week, America Forward signed onto a letter from Higher Learning Advocates, urging Congressional leaders to increase support for the “almost one in four students on today’s college campuses” who “are not only a student, but also a parent.” The letters calls on Congress to: “(1) increase funding and flexibility of funds for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program; (2) address the widespread food insecurity student parents face; and (3) expand broadband connectivity for student parents and their households.” Read the full letter here.

Letter: Supporting National Service

Last week, America Forward and several other members of the Serve America Together coalition sent a letter to President Trump and Vice President Biden, calling on them to “prioritize a significant expansion of national service,” which must:

  1. Exist at scale, engaging at least one million young Americans in civilian national service annually;
  2. Address America’s unmet needs;
  3. Bridge divides and fuel civic renewal;
  4. Be an opportunity for all;
  5. Build pathways to long-term success for individuals who serve through benefits and connectivity to future education and careers

Medium: Bold Action is Needed to Advance Educational Equity — During COVID-19 and Beyond

In a Medium post published last week, Jonathan Briggs, America Forward’s new Policy Manager, writes about the challenges that teachers, students, and families are facing as schools across the country return to learning this Fall, and solutions to ensure a “comprehensive approach to meet the moment and reimagine the current education system.” Read Jonathan’s full piece, including several of America Forward’s key policy recommendations, here.

From the America Forward Coalition

Opinion: It’s Not Just About Policing — 3 Ideas for Addressing Systemic Racism in Our Schools and Communities

Vincent Marigna, Executive Director of Braven, co-authored this op-ed with Shennell McCloud, Executive Director of Project Ready, in The 74 Million, exploring ways to tackle the deep injustice and inequity in systems across America — namely, to begin by addressing systemic racism in local communities: “It’s a national problem, but addressing systemic racism starts locally, within our communities. With that in mind, we offer three recommendations for how communities across our country can lead the way by implementing deliberately antiracist policies, based on what we’ve seen in our home communities in New Jersey.” Read their full piece here.

In the News: Roca Inc. on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This week, Roca was featured in Vice News, discussing their focus on cognitive behavioral therapy as a way for the young people they serve to address and attend to trauma. Watch the segment here.

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