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Mar 20, 2019

Education Policy Update

Federal Updates

  • On March 11, the White House rolled out the President’s $4.7 trillion FY20 budget proposal. The proposed budget includes significant cuts to non-defense discretionary funding, including significant decreases in budgets for the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, House and Senate appropriators on Capitol Hill have already indicated that they intend to use many of their FY19 numbers as a starting point for FY20.
  • Items from the proposed budget affecting education include: 
    • Elimination of the $250 million Preschool Development Grants from the Child Care and Development Block Grant
    • $300 million for education, innovation and research in K-12 schools - an increase of $170 million from FY19.
    • Elimination of the $2.06 billion program, Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants (Title II-A). The proposal includes level funding for Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants at $200 million.
    • $12.6 million increase in national programs funds for career and technical education to support innovation and modernization grants newly authorized under the 2018 reauthorization of the Career and Technical Education Act.
    • In higher education, the proposal outlines a plan to increase postsecondary institution accountability for the repayment of students loans.
    • Expansion of Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in high-quality, short-term programs that lead to a credential, certification or license in a high-demand field.
  • On March 18, the White House released additional materials detailing President Donald Trump's fiscal 2020 budget request, including the appendixanalytical perspectives and a document outlining "Major Savings and Reforms.

growth4vaGrowth4VA Coalition Advances Successful Legislative Agenda in Virginia

Launched in the fall of 2017, Growth4VA is a broad-based bipartisan coalition of business, education, and political leaders and Virginians who believe that higher education is a crucial economic engine for our Commonwealth.

The coalition was founded by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and supported by all 16 public colleges and universities in Virginia, the Virginia Community College System, and Virginia’s non-profit private institutions. 

They promote reform and reinvestment throughout the Virginia higher education system by advancing 4 major strategies for economic growth and opportunity: Make Virginia the Top State for Talent; Become known as the Home of Innovators and Entrepreneurs; Prepare Virginians for Great Jobs and Great Lives; Provide Affordable Access for All Virginians.

The coalition pushed forward legislation and budget requests to address Growth4VA priorities during the 2019 legislative session. As a result of these efforts, the General Assembly allocated over $100 million in new funding for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to address affordable access, talent development, and faculty salaries. Further, the legislature passed important legislation advocated by the coalition that will create a process to partner with the state in key areas including affordable access and cost predictability, talent development, research commercialization, economic development, business process improvements, and other high state priorities. Read more for further details.

State Updates

  • In career and technical education, Colorado HB 19-1008 allows the public school capital board to provide grants to support career and technical education capital construction as part of the “Building Excellent Schools Today Act.” Virginia enacted legislation calling for a review and revision of the state’s Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning Guide with input from business and community stakeholders.
  • Several states have passed legislation to support reading and literacy development from early childhood through high school. In Wyoming, HB 297 requires districts to report to the department of education on school progress towards achieving 85% of students reading at grade level at the end of third grade, determined by the grade three statewide administered assessment. SB 153 in Arkansas requires public school districts and charter schools to include a literacy plan based on the science of reading in the annual school-level improvement plan and specifies teachers to receive professional development in scientific reading instruction.
  • Related to student data privacy, Montana HB 61 would allow a student’s personally identifiable information from a college entrance exam to be shared with postsecondary institutions, scholarship organizations and testing agencies, with the student’s consent.
  • Many states, including Kentucky, New Jersey, Virginia and Wyoming passed legislation addressing school safety. New Jersey A 764 requires panic alarms in schools. Kentucky passed SB 1, which includes measures to increase student safety such as increasing access to behavioral health services and utilizing proven strategies to address physical safety.