New Solutions and Updates
Enhanced Assessment Grant Program
The Obama administration on Friday announced new priorities surrounding the Enhancement Assessment Grant program, designed to help states and districts get smarter about standardized testing. The new efforts build upon an October 2015 announcement of President Barack Obama's new Testing Action Plan, which called for a reexamination of the way tests are used in schools.
Read more at EducationDive.com
NEA President Garcia on ESSA
But "shrinking" doesn't describe Garcia. She firmly declares that the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act earlier this year, the major federal education overhaul, opens the way for her members, in partnership with parents and other groups, to reinvent education for the better — this time, with an eye toward equity and educating the whole child. "I think the next big thing is doing the opposite of all the bad things," she says.
Read more on NPR.org
How School Spending Compares
This is a truly amazing interactive showing school districts across the nation and their spending levels. Interactive is the key word.
Interact more at EdWeek.org and NPR.org.
Tribal Leaders Pre-Conference
Don’t forget to register for the Tribal Leaders Pre-Conference being held on May 2, 2016 in Scottsdale. This event is called the Tribal Leaders Pre-Conference because it immediately precedes the Southwest Pathways Conference. See attached for agendas and additional information. Please note that there is no registration fee for the Tribal Leaders Pre-Conference, but you must register by going to this web site.
Registration is limited to 125, so reserve your space today! Note: There is a fee to participate in the Southwest Pathways Conference which runs from May 2 – 4. Nadine Groening, Director Of Indian Education, Arizona Department of Education.
News and Information
From the Executive Director
Last newsletter, we posted a survey of members and Impact Aid districts interested in partnering with the Rural Schools Association in a September conference. The conference is September 15-17, 2016 at Little America in Flagstaff, Az. The goal is to build a stronger presence of Arizona Impact Aid districts and to showcase the many educational achievements of our districts. Please visit to the ASIAA website and respond to the survey. We want to provide the Rural Schools Association with numbers to plan for the impact on the conference. The survey will close May 6, 2016. Please respond with a yes or no. Your attention is greatly appreciated.
Listed is the Congressional Schedule. Please invite your congressperson and/or senator to your district. This builds a strong relationship between Impact Aid and the delegation. Please let me know when you have scheduled a member.
Thanks for your support.
Larry E. Wallen,
Based on a review of the Senate and House Schedules, this is my best prediction:
Arizona Work Week:
April 1 - 8
May 2 - 6
May 31 - June 3
June 27 - July 1
August 1 - September 2
October 3 - November 10
November 21 - 15
This is the time to invite your Senator and Representative to your district. A picture is worth a thousand words. Show what Impact Aid is doing for your federally connected students.
Appropriations Outlook Uncertain - NAFIS Reports
The House and Senate are moving forward with the budget and appropriations process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 that begins October 1. Caps on overall discretionary spending were set under a slight two-year alteration that Congress approved to the Budget Control Act last year. While a sequester cut of programs is not scheduled for the year, the overall spending allowance is flat. Neither chamber has approved a budget resolution (that sets the overall short- and long-term framework for government spending), but as of April 15 the House and Senate Appropriations Committees can begin to move forward without the budget blueprint. Appropriations bills can be considered on the floor without a Budget Resolution beginning May 15.
The Senate allocation to the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds Department of Education programs was released this week. The cut to the subcommittee was only 0.1-percent - much less than advocates were expecting. Cuts will still be required, but they will not be as deep as if the allocation had been lower. The House has not yet released its subcommittee allocations.
The NAFIS Family has been busy advocating not only to protect Impact Aid from cuts, but to advocate for increased funding for the Basic Support and Federal Properties programs. For example:
Nearly 750 letters have been sent to the Hill by NAFIS members via the Action Alert on the NAFIS website.
NAFIS members will be back on the Hill in April to meet with key decision-makers during the Federal Relations Outreach meeting.
Post to Your Calendar
ASA Institute for Excellence
ASBA Summer Leadership Institute
ASA Summer Conference
Republican National Convention
Democratic National Convention
40th Annual Law Conference
June 5-8, 2016, Flagstaff, Az
June 9 - 11, 2016, Tucson, Az
June 12-14, 2016, Tucson, Az
July 18 - 21, 2016
July 25 - 28, 2016
September 7 - 9, 2016 Phoenix, Az