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tv   Council of Chief State School Officers - Federal Education Policy Update  CSPAN  March 10, 2018 3:03pm-3:33pm EST

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even more emails. 26 different amendments we looked at and evaluated and there is a lot of controversy going on right now. we found something that related to us and what really affected amendment we were able to get in touch with people in iowa and around the country. we got to work as soon as we could. >> the top 22 winning entries will air on c-span in april and you can watch every student documentary online at studentcam.org. some of the nations top state education officials convened in washington, d.c. on monday to discuss k-12 education, career training, and implementing
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federal education laws. -- thisversation portion includes remarks from peter zamora. this is an hour and a half. peter: good afternoon, everyone. welcome back from lunch. welcome back to the federal update portion. i am peter zamora and i am glad to be here with you. so a few topics we will cover today the budget appropriations are a little more complicated
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this year because we'll be talking about two fiscal years at once instead of the one we do every year. we will also talk about pending federal education legislation before moving on to a discussion implementation and oversight and talking about the department of educations capacity to conduct oversight before talking about a few different critical topics that do not fit neatly into any of these categories. but before jumping into the substance of my presentation, i want to describe the political context year in washington, d.c. i have a slide, the symbol of what we are dealing with here which is a stormy political environment. dark clouds and it may be more appropriately described as windswept, given the wind we
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dealt with last week. generally, a stormy environment. and ais much discord trust deficit we are experiencing probably in the political arena in washington, d.c. that is very evident between republicans and democrats and between congress and the white house. areas wheremiliar we have often seen discord. in this time, we are seeing more heightened discord and tension, tension between the white house and federal agencies and federal law enforcement, tension between the white house and the press and the press and the white house, tension between the white house and the courts, and if you believe the press, tension within the white house and this is all elevated. tons of anger and discord that plays out on a daily basis.
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it is not coming in waves. it is nonstop, 100 miles an hour, tension and discord. education policy traditionally has been somewhat immune from political discord and partisanship. it has traditionally been an island of bipartisan policymaking focused on the needs of the country and the needs of students. it is starting to feel like that is beginning to change. had 85 senators support the bipartisan every presidentcceeds act, obama signed it in december of 2015 and call it a christmas miracle. chairman alexander and ranking member murray singing each other praises, that was only a little over two years ago but it starts to feel like a very long time ago given where we are now. we are dealing with a chaotic environment at the federal level
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but this provides an opportunity for states to step up and to lead, or to continue to lead in support of commonsense policies that support our children. as we are here in d.c. meeting with policy makers to frame the debate at the federal level around policies that support us in meeting the needs of all children. chaos and discord at the federal level, potentially provides additional opportunities for us to lead an education. i will start by discussing the funding pictures, the basic obligation of the federal government is to fund the federal government, keep the lights on, pay the military, keep the parks open and fund education programs. it has been moderately successful in doing that the past year, it is more complicated that we are dealing with two fiscal years that wants.
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processet appropriation starts with the president making his recommendations to congress. were aggressive cuts that were composed for fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019. fiscal year 2018, which runs from last october through this coming september, the year in which we are now, the administration proposed a $9.2 billion reduction, that is a 13% overall reduction in the department of education. in fy 2019, a slightly smaller billion cut, about $3.6 , which would be about 5% of the overall discretionary education budget. first, the good news. the president would preserve many of the key commitments at the federal level around education. , many states are doing fabulous work
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, theporating title i funds president budget would keep that at $15.5 billion. assessments, the budget would keep that program at its current funding level. is currentlyich funded at over $700 million, the administration would keep it and fund it at the same level as fiscal year 2017. b, it is critical we remain that funding for citizens with disabilities. that is the fairly good news. there are some deep proposed cuts that would potential he impact states abilities to --cessfully implement asset essa in ways that help students. title ii part a, many of your
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where the administration proposed to eliminate that in the current fiscal year. at $2.3 billion, the administration would zero that out. which is aiv part a, large and flexible funding stream that would go pro friday of purposes including several which are relevant given the conversation we have had around school safety, school counselors, well-rounded education services. those are all funded under title .v part a the administration has proposed to eliminate that funding stream. thee iv part b which is 21st century community learning centers funding stream which primarily funds afterschool and helps summer programs and extended learning time. that is authorized at $1.1 billion. only in fy 2019, the most recent budget for the year that would
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begin october 1, 2018, the administration would zero out program, which serves as the backbone of many state education data systems and is potentially concerning if that funding goes away. at the same time, we have seen the administrations budget school innovations and choice programs, increasing the funding available in existing programs and proposing new programs that are not currently authorized. those would be funded at $1.4 billion in 2018 and in 2019 a little bit higher, $1.6 billion. that is how the administration has begun this conversation. how has congress acted? this has been a chaotic fiscal year in terms of the budgetary process, appropriations progress in congress. what congress is supposed to do
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is come together in a bipartisan basis and pass funding bills before september 30, before october 1 of every year and that would be a year-long funding bill that would fund you for an entire year. is only one labor hhs appropriations bill that governs for the year. we are currently on our fifth short-term funding bill of this funding cycle. october, it is lurching from funding bill to or may notl, you may remember we did have a brief shut down a long weekend in january. congress has done has been funding education programs at the prior-year levels, they have not yet created the school choice proposals that are in the president's budget. however, we are only funded now for another couple of weeks. the funding expires on march 23.
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if congress is unable to come together again on a bipartisan funding solution in their appetite for the short-term funding solutions is diminishing , than we would potentially have another shutdown. that a, it seems likely shutdown has become less likely because of recent bipartisan action in congress that will make more funding available, as forr fy 2018 as well the one that will start in october of this year. we had been living under artificial low sequester cap's for several years and they anded the sequester caps put in place new funding for the defense side, as well as for nondefense discretionary programs, which includes our education programs. defense65 billion for and then a hundred and 35 -- a
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hundred $35 billion for nondefense. what i have included here is a chart from the committee on education funding that helps to visualize where we have been and where we are likely to go. the blue line is the actual spending caps, that is actual federal spending back to 2011. the redline you see, the mountain that jumps up there and 2017 is domestic spending, nondefense spending, under the new budget amounts. is thelow line presidents budget proposal. we began thisand discussion by talking about some of the deep cuts in the president's budget for education , there is a substantial spread between the money that is available as reflected in that redline and then the yellow line
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in the president's budget. becomes, thesere are funds that will be appropriated by congress. they have to be broken down by ,very function, by every agency commerce programs, transportation programs, labor programs, and education programs. what congress has to do is divide this overall pool of money into these agencies and into programs within these agencies. that becomes an opportunity for to tell congress holly can best invest in our states and in our students. --their particular programs if there are particular programs or needs in your states that would require federal resources, those resources are available both in the fiscal year we are living in now and the
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forthcoming one that will start in on herbert. -- that will start in october. toare encouraging states tell your story and tell the story about how education funds could improve opportunities in your state. if you do not need it additional education funds, do not make that communication. an opportunitys to better align federal funding mechanisms with our state needs and state offices in serving students. piece. the funding now i will speak about potentially pending bills. first of all, the higher education act. this is the primary vehicle at the federal level. it has a bunch of different programs that affect higher education. mostly interested in the teacher preparation provisions within those, it
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governs data collection requirements for teacher preparation programs, also the loan and grant programs to assist teachers and to provide compensation to under compensated teachers, and the house committee has advanced a bill called the prosper act, it happened last year, it is at this point a republican bill, a partisan bill, it would move through committee with only partisan support and it is a lean bill. the intent is to reflect the intent of the committee to go smaller and have a smaller federal footprint in higher education. it also does limit a lot of important student loans, student grant programs such that it is unlikely to get the kind of bipartisan support it would need to be a vehicle in the senate. the senate has its own process underway. they have accepted recommendations from different stakeholders. as we get further along in an election year and things are
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complicated and tricky issues of higher education, it starts to seem less likely that congress will get a final bill done in this year. this will be a process that would inform their ongoing discussions in future years. as you engage your congressional delegations tomorrow and moving forward, tell them what you need in higher education, what kind of programs can support your teacher corps as we move forward. the perkins career and technical education act, this is a program that is long-standing and funded over a billion dollars annually. hasauthorization bill passed the house floor and that is a bipartisan bill. a similar bill was also approved in the house in the prior congress. there is some political energy there. is emerging as a higher priority in congress, in
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addition to the work that many states are doing to advance career readiness. morepotentially has prospects to see successful final passage there. the last piece of legislation that may or may not have theation elements to it is other major presidential initiative around infrastructure and much of that discussion has been around roads and bridges and the like, but there is also been discussion about including the infrastructure needs of schools as a component of a federal infrastructure bill and particularly as we are looking at school safety, i think there are questions as to whether there are infrastructure needs as we make sure that all of our students are safe. that bill is a long way away from final passage, it is not even a bill as a series of principles and conversations that are underway. aneducators, if you have interest in this space, we would
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urge you to express that interest your delegation tomorrow and moving forward. we will give a quick snapshot andnd essa implementation many of you will see your own states on this map. a snapshot as to where we are today. there are 35 state plans that of been approved. there are 17 states that are still outstanding, in some process, some stage of the approval process. that aree 17 states outstanding have requested and received more time to engage with the department with an eye towards approval. every state is moving around essa. states it up and approved are moving forward to implement -- states that have been approved are moving forward to implement.
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the 17 states that are continuing to move forward are in slightly different places, but each are making progress towards approval and towards implementation. we are looking for the kind of stability we need at the federal level so we can do our jobs at the state and local level to implement the law and the way it is intended. at the same time, the department of education is also considering waiver requests for states that need more time or are working to get into full compliance with the statute. those are ongoing discussions there. been a unique process around state planned review because of the heightened political tension and the increased public focus we have seen around essa state plans. the department reviews and approves state plans all of the time. most of that happens and it is
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kind of a bureaucracy and plans are submitted and resubmitted. nobody pays attention. a, partly because it is a new law and a new administration and all of this heightened political interest has caused a lot of focus around the plan approval process. report, from somebody who has been through a few of these cycles before and has worked with states around different planned submissions and approvals that it is a very familiar process. thee is nothing -- department is engaging in a buy the books reviewed for compliance. they are reviewing and interpreting the statute and requiring compliance with their interpretation of the statute. can be frustrating and i think it has been frustrating for a lot of folks, and the folks would like to see more flexibility than the statue compensates, i think that is a
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challenge. also for folks that would want to see a different agenda pushed through this process, that has not happened. i think the secretary and her for demand a lot of credit playing it by the books and implementing the statute as congress has intended. there is also a very high bar for new regulations and guidance. they will not be turning out guidance every week. that provides an opportunity for states to embrace the statute, embrace the law and implemented in ways that make sense for your state. you're not likely to have shifting policies coming forward. a tremendous amount of political tension, in addition to the public focus. there was a hearing in higher education last year where chairman alexander and ranking member murray agreed the secretary was violating the law
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in approving essa plans. it turns out they agreed because of different reasons. chairman alexander felt the initial reviews of many of the state plans exceeded the department's authority under essa. they were questioning things that were more subjective. on the other hand, murray and scott expressed concerns around the use of subgroups within different systems. they each have strongly held interpretations of the statute. the department of education has its own interpretation of the statute. unless superseded by statute or overturned by a court, it is the department's interpretation that will govern. it looks worse than it is. ccs so is involved with all of these policies, they are all good people trying to find common ground.
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we are hoping we can build on that shared understanding and bridge the gaps, focusing on the common sense application of these provisions. the way we as states can continue to inform this debate and alleviate concerns is by implementing the statute well and for all students and to show successful outcomes for students. that charge is upon us. sieber -- aflag a sleeper issue in essa implementation. new requirement that state and local report cards have to include per-pupil expenditure reporting. that has to include actual teacher salaries. we have committed to equitable funding and transparency in our funding processes.
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this is an opportunity for us to elevate equity and funding but also to look at funding efficiencies. are we maximizing the impact of every dollar we have, and are limited resources? there is a breakout session that will address this is afternoon. it has not gotten public focus yet but it is going to encourage public discussions that should be potentially helpful. snapshot about education capacity these days, and we will be hearing from secretary devos this afternoon. there has been progress in terms of populating the department. they now have three senate confirmed to nominees. the nominee for the elementary and secondary education assistant secretary, he will receive a vote tomorrow. we are hopeful the department is able to generate more capacity
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and staff up as they look to continue to implement essa. however, there is also reorganization plans that have been wildly -- widely reported. there are not as many appointees in the pipeline as you would normally see. part of that is because and intentionality of reducing the size of the footprint at the federal level. memo described a proposal to reduce the number of political appointees at 100 andn from 150 to consolidate certain offices. there is some question as to whether they need statutes in order to make some of these changes. in k-12, we would primarily be interested in this charter school office and the office of english language acquisition. a few critical topics that do not fit neatly into elsewhere in my presentation but are
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important to be aware of. the primary legislative accomplishment of the congress last year and of the administration was to make changes to the tax code. the piece that matters most in k-12 education is the new cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes. the final legislation tapped it at $10,000 per year. there is some concern that could place pressure on higher tax states, higher cost states in terms of their ability to raise revenue for public education. this is a medium-term issue that takes effect in the 2018 tax year. the effects on school funding would not be until down the road. a major issue we should be aware of around funding and equitable funding. another incredibly critical issue for hundreds of thousands
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of students and the communities in which they live -- daca. au may know this was president obama program that granted relief to miners brought into this country without authorization. last year, the president announced an intent to rescind the program on march the fifth, today. today would have been the last day but the courts have blocked that. the program is currently operating. the supreme court refused to take up an expedited appeal which would have expedited the outcome of this litigation. as of right now, the program is operating on a tentative basis. if you are a young person who is looking to plan your life and you know your status could be rescinded at a moments notice, that is going to provide a level of instability. are committed to providing
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safe environments for students and this is another area where states can continue to lead. this is one of the areas that is federal only, it is only the feds that can make the changes around immigration policy and address the issue permanently. that is where we are now. even though there is broad public support for a solution, we are not close to one right now. , but in a lot of ways could be first, the discussion around school safety. i was glad to hear commissioner pruitt this morning and the leadership he and our fellow chiefs have taken on this issue are going to be particularly critical. by necessity, if not by design, this is going to be one of our top issue areas. as we heard already this arning, ccsso has convened
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state working group and we are going to focus on best practices to ensure all students can go to school in a safe environment. as commissioner pruett said, none of the rest of it matters if our students are not safe in our schools. by way of conclusion, it is chaotic at the federal level, but states and ccsso are continuing to lead. we cannot afford to wait for direction from the federal government. we do not think that will be soon. we welcome a partnership with the federal level, but we need to continue to lead and we need to continue to tell our stories about how we are leading. often in d.c. people do not have as clear a sense as they might of how you are doing in your individual states. if we can help you communicate to us your congressional dega

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