ED and DOL Letter on Addressing School Staff Shortages

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ED and DOL Letter on Addressing School Staff Shortages

On August 31, Department of Education (ED) Secretary Miguel Cardona and Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Marty Walsh sent a letter to state and local education and workforce leaders encouraging them to take a series of actions to address teacher and school staff shortages and invest in the teaching profession, including:

(1) Establish high quality paid Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) for teaching. Registered Apprenticeship is an effective, high-quality "earn and learn" model that provides structured, paid on-the-job learning experiences combined with job-related technical instruction with a mentor that leads to a nationally recognized credential. Once established, RAPs can leverage financial resources from ED and DOL to support this career pathway.

(2) Increase collaboration across workforce and education systems, including strengthening career pathway partnerships, to bring more people into the education profession through high-quality pathways, such as providing opportunities for school-based staff to become teachers. Workforce and education partners can work more closely in developing their respective statewide strategies, including how they can create pathways for individuals from underrepresented populations to become educators. The letter recommends creating long-term collaboration through inclusion in state plans required by Federal Education laws such as ESEA, IDEA and Perkins.

(3) Ensure teachers are paid a livable and competitive wage. Secretaries Cardona and Walsh encourage states and school districts to use ESSER funds to pay critical staff competitively. They also highlight that Governors, county commissioners, and mayors can also help districts address this challenge by using the $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to help schools hire staff, including by providing premium pay.

Read the full letter here.

In addition to the letter, the White House announced commitments from talent recruitment and job platforms to make it easier for states and school districts source, recruit, and hire teachers and school professionals, and to help more Americans find jobs in education. See more information here

PSLF Day of Action

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PSLF Day of Action

With just two months left to go until the end of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) limited waiver period on October 31st, the White House is calling on employers and others across the country to get the word out. So far, borrowers have gotten more than $10 billion forgiven through PSLF. RSVP to the White House Day of Action here.

Tomorrow, August 31st, the White House is focusing on spreading the word about the PSLF limited waiver to educators, school personnel, administrators, professors and other employees at all education levels. This relief can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who work tirelessly every day to educate and care for our nation’s students. Please join by posting to social media, sending out an email to your educator networks, or otherwise help public servants to access this life-changing opportunity.

Use AASA's template email for superintendents to share with their staff on how to take advantage of the waiver before it expires. 

The White House also developed a set of materials for K-12 school district administrators and college leaders to share with educators on how to complete the PSLF application. In it, you can find draft newsletter blurbs, a template all-school email, social media samples, and more! You can also visit our PSLF stakeholder resource page for additional relevant toolkits for other community sectors.

Updates from HHS: Back to School townhall, #VaxToSchool, Youth Vaccine Champions

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Updates from HHS: Back to School townhall, #VaxToSchool, Youth Vaccine Champions

 Back to School Town Hall for School Staff – Thursday 9/1 at 6:30pm ET

You are invited to a Back-to-School town hall for teachers and school staff on Thursday, September 1st at 6:30pm ET, hosted by the White House in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA). The conversation will include panels on health and safety, as well as academics and mental health. Speakers will include Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and NEA President Becky Pringle. To register, please visit https://pitc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_jE_vnPijRVKlPtjGFEI6SA. If registrations are full, you can watch the program in its entirety on Twitter (@WHCOVIDResponse) and YouTube (The White House). The event is open to all school staff.

#VaxToSchool toolkit

HHS launched the #VaxToSchool social media toolkit to promote the use of hashtag #VaxToSchool (and #WeCanDoThis) and encourage back-to-school COVID vaccinations for students of all ages. Sample posts and graphics are provided to share across social media channels. Please promote widely between now and the end of the first week of September as students across the nation go back to school! See attached.

Young people who have championed access to COVID-19 vaccines

HHS is also looking to celebrate and lift up young people who have been champions for COVID-19 vaccines in their communities – among other young people, or in the community at large. They are looking for any suggestions you might have of talented young people who have been engaged on vaccine access, awareness, and confidence. If so, please send information about them our way!

Hundreds of District Leaders Sign Letter to Cardona Urging Late Liquidation Flexibility

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Hundreds of District Leaders Sign Letter to Cardona Urging Late Liquidation Flexibility

On Monday, almost 700 district leaders from 47 states sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging the Department to immediately issue guidance that will clarify how much additional time districts can have to spend ARP funding for contracted services, projects and personnel. Additional time to liquidate the ARP funds ensures that districts can maintain the critical pandemic-related services students require to overcome the challenges of the past three academic years.

This letter, signed by not only superintendents but school business officials and educational service agency directors, is the first open sign-on letter to the Secretary in many years. The breadth and depth of the signatories—the letter includes some of the largest and smallest districts in the country—demonstrates the urgency of this issue and the importance of knowing when and how this flexibility will be granted to districts.

To read the letter and signatories you can click here. We will update the blogpost if we hear a response from the Department or the Secretary.

NASSP Principal Recovery Network Releases Guide to Recovery

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NASSP Principal Recovery Network Releases Guide to Recovery

Founded in April 2019, the NASSP Principal Recovery Network (PRN) is a national network of current and former school leaders who have experienced gun violence tragedies in their buildings. Together, the PRN seeks to assist principals in the immediate aftermath of a crisis and well beyond. PRN members reach out directly to their colleagues to provide much-needed support, share the combined wisdom of their experience with the larger principal community through various outlets, assist schools during recovery, and advocate for national school safety enhancements and violence prevention programs.

In August 2022, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Principal Recovery Network published the Guide to Recovery, a collection of best practices to assist school leaders in the aftermath of shooting tragedies. Authors include current and former principals of Columbine High School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Sandy Hook Elementary.

The 16-page guide is divided into five areas of focus for school leaders: securing support and responding to offers of assistance, reopening the school, attending to the ongoing needs of students and staff, holding commemorations and annual remembrances, and listening to student voice.

We encourage you to share with your membership.

USED and CDC Create Resources on Monkeypox for Educators, Will Hold Stakeholder Call

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USED and CDC Create Resources on Monkeypox for Educators, Will Hold Stakeholder Call

Today, USED released two new resources for educators related to monkeypox. The first is a set of frequently asked questions from Schools, Early Care and Education Programs, and Other Settings Serving Children or Adolescents about monkeypox. The second is a factsheet about What You Need to Know about Monkeypox if You are a Teen or Young Adult.

The CDC will host two webinars to share information on these resources and take questions from stakeholders:

  • Today, August, 22, a webinar for early childhood education (ECE) partners will be held from 2:00-2:30 p.m. ET. Please click the link to join the ECE webinar.
  • Today, August 22, a webinar for K-12 educators will be held from 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET. Please click the link to join the K-12 webinar.

 

 

Appropriations Update

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Appropriations Update

On July 28, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposed Democratic fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding bills. This means that we now have both the House and Senate proposals for FY23. Before we get into the numbers, it’s important to note that these are the Democratic proposals and the negotiated bipartisan bills may lead to significantly lower funding than the democrat-only bills.

Here are the proposed numbers for Title I and IDEA:

 

President’s Proposal

House

Senate

Title I

$36.5 billion (includes a proposal for $16 billion to be included as mandatory spending)

$20.5 billion (+$3 billion from FY22)

 

$20.1 billion (+2.6 billion from FY22)

IDEA

$16.26 billion (+3 billion from FY22

$16.26 billion (+3 billion from FY22)

$15.3 billion (+1.98 billion from FY22)

 The House left for August recess before passing the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill. Although it is possible the House passes the bill once they return, it’s far more likely that the next action on FY23 appropriations will be a congressional vote to extend current FY22 funding for a period into FY23.

The Senate does not leave for August recess until next week but is not expected to take further action on appropriations as all attention is on a possible reconciliation package. 

AASA Joins K12 Groups in Amicus Brief for SCOTUS Case on Affirmative Action

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AASA Joins K12 Groups in Amicus Brief for SCOTUS Case on Affirmative Action

AASA joined the National School Board Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and American School Counselors Association in an amicus brief for Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina. This pair of cases—which have been separated for oral argument—concern racial discrimination in affirmative action programs as used in for college admissions. SFFA v. Harvard centers on Harvard University's undergraduate admissions process; the program is accused of discriminating against Asian American applicants. In SFFA v. UNC, the University of North Carolina’s consideration of socioeconomic factors in admission is called into question, for violating Title IV of the Civil Rights Act.  Read our brief here.