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
The focus on the Hill last week remained on a bipartisan infrastructure package. The bipartisan group of ten Senators reached an agreement last Wednesday evening and unveiled their framework for a package to President Biden on Thursday. The President endorsed the deal but signaled that he will not sign an infrastructure deal without a budget reconciliation process first. Similarly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the House will not take up a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill. The bipartisan deal includes $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $579 billion in new spending.
Budget reconciliation is expected to move forward in the coming months with a more partisan approach, which moderate Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) have signaled an openness to proceed on. This process is expected to include some of President Biden’s human infrastructure priorities and a reversal of President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.
A major vote on the elections reform bill “For the People Act (S. 1)” took place in the Senate last Tuesday and failed to pass a procedural motion to override a filibuster with all Senate Republicans opposing the motion.
A group of Democrats in the House and Senate, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), sent a letter to President Biden last Wednesday urging him to extend the moratorium on student loan payments until March 2022. The lawmakers expressed concerns that student loan payments could hinder the pace of economic recovery, and that these payments should be postponed until the economy and employment reach pre-pandemic levels.
The Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona testified before the House Education and Labor Committee on Thursday about the policies and priorities of the Department. You can watch the hearing here.
Last week at America Forward
America Forward’s FY22 Virtual Appropriations Hill Week (Virtual Hill Week)
Last week, America Forward kicked off its FY 22 Virtual Appropriations Hill Week! Over the past several days, members of the America Forward Coalition have met virtually with congressional offices to advocate for our Coalition’s key legislative and appropriations priorities for Fiscal Year 2022. If you joined us for our kick-off webinar this past Tuesday, June 22, thank you! If you were unable to join us but are interested in receiving the recording of or slides from the session, please reach out to Jonathan_Briggs@newprofit.org.
Whether you have been able to participate in Hill Week or not, please help us spread the word about the importance of funding the America Forward Coalition’s FY 22 federal funding priorities using the hashtag #AmericaForwardHillWeek.
New Members Join the America Forward Coalition
Last week, we welcomed two new members to the America Forward Coalition, the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) and Latinos for Education (L4E)!
ACTE works to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce, and strives to empower educators to deliver high quality CTE programs that ensure all students are positioned for career success.
Latinos for Education works to develop, place and connect essential Latino leaders in the education sector, building an ecosystem of Latino advocates by infusing Latino talent into positions of influence.
Update: U.S. Department of Education Equity Summit Series Officially Launched this Week
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced its Equity in Education Summit Series. On June 22, ED held the first webinar of this series, Building Equitable Learning Environments in Our Schools. As ED reported, during this first installment of the series, “participants discussed the historic investments in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) — aimed at advancing equity in school reopening efforts — and how proposals outlined in President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request, the American Jobs Plan, and the American Families Plan can address inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic and help build truly equitable schools nationwide.”
Update: Secretary Cardona Issues a Statement Marking the 49th Anniversary of Title IX
On June 23, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona issued a statement on Title IX, a federal law that “prohibits any educational institution that receives federal financial assistance (such as grants or student loans) from discriminating on the basis of sex.” In his statement, Secretary Cardona recognized that while there is more work to do to protect students from harrassment and exclusion, that Title IX, is the “strongest tool we have to protect every student’s right to equal access to educational opportunities free from sex discrimination.” Access the statement here.
From the America Forward Coalition
Seizing the Moment: Reimagining Education Systems for Equity Through Whole-Child Design and Community Partnership
On June 22, Pam Cantor from Turnaround for Children, an America Forward Coalition member, joined Dr. John B. King from the Education Trust for a moderated discussion by Bank Street President Shael Polakow-Suransky, focused on advancing equity in education. Seizing the Moment: Reimagining Education Systems for Equity Through Whole-Child Design and Community Partnership focused on “the power of relationship and context in teaching and learning, recent scientific research on human learning and development, system-wide change with a focus on equity and the whole child, and the importance of deep community partnerships.” This discussion can be viewed here.
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