July 16, 2021

(ADVOCACY TOOLS, ED FUNDING) Permanent link   All Posts

Bills on K-12 Funding and Discrimination Move Forward

Thursday was a busy day on Capitol Hill as two committees held contentious mark-ups on K-12 issues and funding. The House Education and Labor Committee voted to pass a bill that would create a competitive grant program to incentivize districts to de-segregate schools. This bill, the Strength in Diversity Act, is one that AASA supports. The second bill would give students and parents the right to bring Title VI discrimination claims based on the disparate impact of school policies, as if those policies had been written to be intentionally discriminatory. It would also require each district to have a Title VI coordinator. AASA does not support this bill. A Republican substitute amendment to the Title VI bill would have barred federal funding from supporting instruction that made assumptions, assigned characteristics, or separated students or teachers based on race, color, or national origin. This vote, focused on Critical Race Theory, is the first vote on this contentious topic on Capitol Hill and was defeated by Democrats and supported by Republicans.

The House Appropriations Committee also met to deliberate on the House Labor-HHS-Education funding bill. The bill passed only with Democrats voting in favor of it and would represent a huge increase in annual federal spending on schools, as it more than doubles the size of the Title I program and provides a substantial increase to IDEA. This EdWeek story provides a good outline of the funding. House Leadership has indicated that the Labor-HHS-Education bill will be on the floor of the House of Representatives in two weeks. It is critical that we have support for this unprecedented funding jump for education. Make sure to reach out to your members of Congress using the AASA Advocacy App and let them know you support this critical increase in Title I and IDEA.

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