America Forward Weekly Tip Sheet: Policy and Advocacy (2/7)

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.

Last Week in Washington

All eyes are on appropriators in Congress this week as the Continuing Resolution to fund the government is set to expire less than two weeks from now on February 18. Negotiations continued last week with Republican appropriators proposing another offer, which Democratic leaders are reviewing. There are hopes that a deal will be struck sometime this week, but the likelihood of a short-term continuing resolution to give Congress extra time after the February 18th deadline is becoming more likely. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, stated that a supplemental bill for COVID-19 response may still be necessary as well.

Little progress has been made in the negotiations for Build Back Better and the reconciliation process; however Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden, remain optimistic that a path forward is possible. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has signaled that “starting from scratch” is the best path forward for a reconciliation bill.

Last week, Pfizer asked the FDA to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5, potentially opening the way for the very youngest Americans to start receiving shots as early as March.

President Biden issued a proclamation in recognition of Black History Month last week. “Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America — our faults, our struggles, our progress, and our aspirations.”

New Profit and America Forward Release Statement in Response to HBCU Bomb Threats

On the first day of Black History Month, more than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) received bomb threats. This follows previous bomb threats to at least 8 HBCUs in early January. You can read New Profit /America Forward’s response to the bomb threats here.

America Forward Signs on to Joint Letter in Support of the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools Program

America Forward, along with 48 other organizations, signed onto a letter to Appropriations Committee Leadership in both the House and Senate in support of the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) Program. The letter calls for an increase in funding to $500 million for the program, which would ensure that about 100,000 more parenting college students would receive the child care assistance they need to continue their educational journey and succeed through college. Read the full letter here.

Resource: US Department of Education Releases Two Memos for Using American Rescue Plan Funds

Last week the US Department of Education released two memos outlining the use of ARP funds and other federal resources to address labor shortages in schools. View the memo addressing teacher shortages here. View the memo addressing school staff here.

Resource: Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker

Brookings Metro, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National League of Cities (NLC) have partnered to create a Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker which offers a detailed picture of how large cities and counties (with populations of at least 250,000) are deploying the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars. Click here for more information.

Resource: IES Toolkit – How to Text Parents to Reduce Chronic Absence Using an Evidence-Based Approach

A recent Institute of Education Sciences study found that a carefully designed text messaging strategy to communicate with parents can improve school attendance in elementary schools. Based on the study, this toolkit provides school districts with information and tools for carrying out their own attendance text messaging strategy.

Update: US Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Delivers Remarks on Equity in Career Education

Last week, Secretary Cardona delivered opening remarks at the 2022 Advancing Equity in Career-Connected Education Summit, a virtual conference bringing together policymakers and stakeholders to share ways to help youth and adults access quality career pathways. The event, hosted by the Department’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), was a forum to exchange research, evidence-based strategies, and innovative practices. Among the presenters were representatives from federal, state, and local agencies, teachers, and higher education students.

Update: AmeriCorps Announces New Grant for  COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

Last week AmeriCorps announced  a new grant to address ongoing needs created by the COVID-19 grantees. Specifically, AmeriCorps is awarding more than $7 million to current AmeriCorps Seniors. This grant advances the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to support diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility; assist states with low vaccination rates; and expand services in communities that are addressing the root causes of poverty.

Update: US Department of Education Disaster Recovery Work

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a report commending how the U.S. Department of Education’s Disaster Recovery Unit (DRU) in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) supports the needs of students and their districts recovering from natural disasters. The Department of Education also published updated Non-Regulatory Guidance on Flexibility and Waivers for Grantees and Program Participants Impacted by Federally Declared Disasters with the intent to restore teaching and learning environments and resume services as soon as possible following disasters.

Previous Article America Forward and New Profit Statement on Threats Against HBCUs February 7, 2022 < Next Article America Forward Coalition Members Step up — February 2022 February 7, 2022 >

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.