November 10, 2017(1)

(E-RATE, ADVOCACY TOOLS) Permanent link

AASA Files Comments in Response to Proposed Changes to E-Rate

Last month, AASA issued a call to action to superintendents, urging them to respond to a set of proposed changes to the E-Rate program by the FCC. The FCC is considering a policy change which would deeply cut--if not eliminate--it support for Category 2 (internal connections) within the E-Rate program. Adopted as part of the 2014 modernization, this is a premature policy consider that would undermine the intent of the 2014 vote and threaten the ability of schools and libraries to access and afford high speed connectivity in their classrooms. To that end, AASA provided a template response, and more than 400 educators from schools and libraries across the country. 

You can read AASA's formal comments here.

November 10, 2017

 Permanent link

AASA Applauds Introduction of Public Funds for Public Schools Act

Last spring, AASA and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a scathing report called Public Loss, Private Gain: How School Voucher Tax Shelters Undermine Public Education where we described how taxpayers in nine states are able to profit from their donations to private school voucher programs. In our report, we recommended Congress introduce legislation to close this voucher tax shelter that diverts millions of dollars away from federal coffers and back into voucher proponents’ pockets.

We are excited to share that Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) has introduced legislation to close the voucher tax shelter. AASA, along with 33 national education, civil rights, religious and disability organizations sent a letter in support her bill called the Public Funds for Public Schools Act (H.R. 4269). Already it has garnered three additional co-sponsors. Alabama is one of the nine states where wealthy taxpayers have a financial incentive to support private school voucher programs because they are able to take a federal deduction on a donation for which they also received a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. This enables them to avoid paying federal taxes on a “charitable contribution” that costs them nothing thereby allowing them to pay less in taxes.  

Sewell sits on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and she spoke about her bill during the Committee’s mark-up of the tax bill. Her staff also put together a great one-pager on the bill that you can read here.