Advocacy Spotlight: State Affiliates and AASA Members' Outreach on Title I Portability

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 This week the House Education and Workforce Committee marked-up their ESEA bill, HR5, the Student Success Act. One of the amendments to HR5 that was supposed to receive a stand-alone vote focused on Title I portability. AASA had deep concerns with how Title I portability would dismantle local efforts to close achievement gaps and generally undermine local control over limited federal resources. You can read about Title I portability here.

In light of this news, AASA launched a call-to-action asking some our members and affiliates with connections to House Education & Workforce members to weigh in on the House ESEA bill. In a matter of hours, emails and calls flooded into Capitol Hill. I heard from staff that they were being “bombarded” about the Title I portability amendment from superintendents. A few House members that we thought would not vote in favor of an amendment to strike portability even told me they were now “on-the-fence” after talking with their local superintendents.

While the amendment process never worked out as we had hoped, the effort by our state affiliates—particularly our PA and OK affiliates—to engage the appropriate superintendents, coupled with our active advocacy network of AASA members who reached out, represents an advocacy victory. It’s not unrealistic to think we could have another chance on the floor to strike these Title I portability provisions from ESEA, and we’ll certainly have a chance to engage on this issue in the Senate side, but thanks to our committed superintendents who found a few minutes to call up staff and send some emails, we are now ahead of the game.


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