New Solutions and Updates
Budget Battle Heats Up
House Budget Committee passed a budget that would provide $1.07 trillion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2017, which would lead to deep cuts to non-defense discretionary and entitlement programs in the years ahead. However, the proposed budget faces a steep climb to pass through the House, with many conservative Republican members saying it’ does not cut spending enough.
This week, education groups, including AASA, also expressed concern over President Obama's fiscal year 2017 budget. While his proposal technically increases Title I spending by $450 million, ESSA also eliminated the $450 million federal School Improvement Grant program under Title I, and would fold that money into the overall Title I program.
At best, the president's budget would result in a net $200 million loss for local allocations of Title I spending. Republican Senators even joined in, noting that Obama’s budget only asks for $500 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, which is the new block grant under ESSA. As written, ESSA authorizes about $1.5 billion a year for the block grant, which combines 50 separate programs into the new block grant.
Read the AASA letter on Title I funding. (AASA)
Expanding School Choice for Native American Kids
The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is failing Native American children. Today, almost half of BIE students do not graduate from high school while BIE student test scores trail by double digits compared to Native Americans attending non-BIE schools. Despite all this, BIE is one of the most expensive educational systems in the nation, costing an estimated at $15,000 per student -- higher than the national average.
It is unconscionable to leave Native American students stranded in failing schools when we can create the option of expanding educational opportunities on Indian reservations now. That's why this month I introduced the Native American Education Opportunity Act, legislation that would offer customized education options, including private tuition scholarships, to Native American K-12 students living on Indian reservations as an alternative to attending BIE schools.
Importantly, this bill would give Native American parents the option of using BIE funds to pay for private school tuition, tutors, books, and other educational needs through a state-administered education savings account. I believe that encouraging private schools to compete with BIE schools can improve K-12 education -- even in the most remote parts of Indian Country.
Obama's 2017 Budget Freezes Funding for Most Low-Income Student Aid Programs
Follow this link to read more: Despite high school graduation rates being at a record high of 82.1 percent and with rising numbers of minority students heading to college, President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2017 budget freezes funding for most higher education and student aid programs that serve low-income and minority students, according to a budget analysis released Thursday on Capitol Hill.
News and Information
From the Executive Director
Thanks to all of you who attended the NAFIS Spring conference in Washington DC. The Hill visits were very successful and carried the message that Impact Aid is critical to our federally connected students. Great job everyone!
My Sunday morning begins with Sunday Square Off, Channel 12, then Meet the Press, followed by Face the Nation. This is my usual routine providing some insight into major topics in Washington. The upcoming election with all its fanfare occupies the media. No doubt something will happen in November. Something?
The President has presented his FY 17 budget, Congress is already having difficulty moving the budget forward. The FY 2017 budget deadline is October 1. After the hill visit, we must once again reach out to the Arizona delegation to support our federally connected students. We cannot allow the fanfare of the presidential election to deter our congressmen and senators from supporting Impact Aid. I believe it will be very easy for our issue to get lost in the political rhetoric.
Please click on the link to read the ASIAA letter to the Arizona Congressional delegation. We are requesting a $31 million increase to basic support. This is projected to keep LOT at 100%.
Please communicate to your congressperson and Senators the following:
Set aside an hour to contact your Congressperson during the week of April 11-15. Calls coming in from Arizona will signal to the delegation the importance of supporting Impact Aid and staying on top of the funding issues.
Please let me know how your calls play out. Should you have any questions and feedback, please contact me.
Larry E. Wallen,
AzSIAA President Robbie Koerperich Attends Ed Coalition Meeting
Follow this link to read the minutes. Interesting information on Prop 123.
Post to Your Calendar
NSBA Annual Conference
ASBA Summer Leadership Institute
ASA Institute for Excellence
ASA Summer Conference
Arizona Rural Schools Association Conference
April 9 - 11. 2016, Boston, Ma
July 9 - 11, 2016, Flagstaff, Az
June 5-8, 2016, Flagstaff, Az
June 12-14, 2016. Tucson, Az
September 15-17, 2016