America Forward Weekly Tip Sheet: Policy and Advocacy (3/7)

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

President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress last week, where he discussed the conflict in Ukraine, infrastructure investments, the national mental health crisis and trauma-informed approaches to care, early learning and affordable childcare, tutoring and mentoring, higher education and pell grants, and much more. For more about the State of the Union and the key highlights directly related to America Forward’s education and workforce priorities, read our blog post here.

With the current continuing resolution (CR) ending this Friday, March 11th, congressional negotiators are working to try to wrap up the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Last week, the Administration requested an additional $33 billion in emergency funding including $22.5 billion in emergency pandemic supplemental aid for testing, treatment, and vaccination improvements; plus $10 billion in defense and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. As a result, Congress may need to pass another short term CR to continue to fund the government beyond the March 11th deadline.

March 15: America Forward Advocacy Institute Training: Leveraging Federal Funding to Maximize Impact in Existing Systems

Next Tuesday, March 15, 2022, from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST the America Forward Advocacy Institute will hold a training, Transforming from Within: Leveraging Federal Funding to Maximize Impact in Existing Systems, for its K-12 Working Group members. If you are interested in engaging in our K-12 Working Group and are not yet a member of the America Forward Coalition, please contact us at to learn more.

March 29: Nonprofits CAN Lobby

Mark your calendars! On Tuesday, March 29, 2022 in partnership with Alliance for Justice, America Forward will host the Advocacy Institute training Nonprofits CAN Lobby for America Forward Coalition member organizations to address everything you want to know about how your organizations can flex its advocacy muscle, engage in lobbying, and engage with policymakers and campaigns while staying within the legal limits during these charged times and in anticipation of the 2022 midterm elections. An invitation will be sent out early next week.

YouthBuild Receives $13 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett

YouthBuild USA, the global nonprofit that champions opportunity youth to build the skill sets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood, and leadership, has received a transformative $13 million gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. This investment will allow YouthBuild USA to further support its network, identify additional opportunities for impact, and scale and strengthen its systems and infrastructure for YouthBuild programs around the world.

Update: New Data from Institute of Education Sciences Shows Pandemic’s Impact on Teaching Profession

New data from the Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education shows significant impacts from the pandemic on teacher shortages. “As of January 2022, 44% of public schools reported having at least one teaching vacancy, and 61% of them specifically identified the COVID-19 pandemic as a cause of those vacancies. Resignations accounted for 51% of the vacancies and retirements accounted for 21%.”

Update: U.S. Department of Labor Announces $45M Grant Funding Availability to Help Close Equity Gaps and Expand Access to Good-paying Jobs

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a $45 million funding availability to help people in marginalized and underrepresented populations overcome barriers to access career and technical education programs that can help connect them with good-paying jobs. This second round of grant funding focuses on accelerated learning strategies to support career pathway development through rapid reskilling, training and employment through targeted industry sectors. It also builds on the knowledge gained through the grant program’s initial $40 million investment and through $1.9 billion in prior investments from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants awarded from 2011-2018.

U.S. Department of Education Observes Career and Technical Education Month

In honor of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, the U.S. Department of Education published multiple blogs last week:

U.S. Department of Education Announces $35 Million Competition to Improve Teacher Quality

The U.S. Department of Education is posting a Notice Inviting Applications for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) program, which will award $35 million to bolster teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate or “fifth-year” level (Pre-Baccalaureate Models), as well as teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching that integrate relevant academic content and meaningful clinical experience (Residency Models).

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