New Solutions and Updates
Notes from the Executive Director - Where have we been?
A new year! That means new challenges in our advocacy for Impact Aid. Let me summarize where we have been:
ASIAA is joining with the Arizona Rural Schools Association to share the fall conference. A short survey will follow asking about your attendance to determine the impact on the conference. Dr. Koerperich, ASIAA President is working with Don German, Executive Director to participate with breakout sessions in the fall. Please mark your calendar to attend the Arizona Rural Schools Association 2016 Annual Conference September 15-17, 2016 at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.
Most importantly, continue to reach out to your Congressperson monthly. Keep Impact Aid in their thoughts by sharing what is happening in your district. (AASA)
Larry E. Wallen
Arizona Ranked 45th - Funding Tanks Grade - ASBA
Arizona’s students are among leaders in the nation in achievement gains in math and reading, but its per-pupil state funding, identified as the lowest in the nation, pulled the grade for Arizona’s public schools down to a D+ in the Quality Counts 2016 report released by Education Week‘s Research Center last week, “Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability.” The report ranks Arizona 45th among the states when looking at students’ chance for success, school finance and K-12 achievement combined.
School Testing 2016: Same Tests, Different Stakes
The debate over renewing the big federal education law turned, in part, on whether annual testing would remain a federal mandate. Republicans initially said no, Democrats said yes. Ultimately the overhaul passed with tests still in place.
Title 1 gets a Boost!
Title I aid for the nation's neediest students is getting a $500 million boost, up to approximately $14.9 billion, while state grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are rising by $415 million, up to $11.9 billion, as part of the omnibus federal budget deal for fiscal 2016 signed into law by President Barack Obama last month.
Those and other spending increases are part of an overall budget increase for the U.S. Department of Education of $1.2 billion. The total increase for the U.S. Department of Education's budget is about 2 percent, up to ...
News and Information
Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed - Impact Aid Increase
On Friday, both the House and Senate adopted the $1.1 trillion Omnibus Appropriations bill, funding Federal discretionary programs through Fiscal Year 2016 (September 30). As a result of the additional funding made available through the Bipartisan Budget Act, most education programs received a modest increase or were protected from cuts in the House or Senate bills.
Building on the $10 million increase for Basic Support provided in the House bill, the Omnibus includes a $17 million increase for Basic Support. NAFIS estimates this will be sufficient to offset this year's increase in the Local Contribution Rate, allowing the FY 2016 final LOT payout to remain stable within the range of 92- to 94-percent.
While we are disappointed Federal Properties did not receive an increase, it is a testament to the program's bipartisan, bicameral support to have evaded elimination again this year as the only education program to have been proposed for elimination.
The Impact Aid office should begin releasing FY 2016 payments in early January. Once the omnibus is signed by the President, there is a multi-week, inter-agency process before the Impact Aid program office can begin releasing funds. If your district is in need of an Impact Aid payment before mid-January and has not submitted an early payment request, contact the NAFIS office.
An updated FY 2016 funding chart and the NAFIS letter of support to the Hill are available on the NAFIS website. Contact Jocelyn@nafisdc.org with an questions. (NAFIS Newsletter 12-18-2015)
Spring Conference Registration Link Active
If you'd like to get a jump on your reservations and registration for the NAFIS Spring Conference - March 13-15, 2016 - NAFIS has activated both the hotel reservations link with our host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, and the conference registration link on its website.
Should you have any questions regarding the conference, or if you experience any issues with the links above, please email Lynn Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you soon in Washington!NAFIS Newsletter 12-18-2015.
15 Days Until Impact Aid Application Deadline
Only 15 days remain until the February 1, 2016 deadline for Impact Aid applications. Late applications will incur a ten-percent cut to their Fiscal Year 2017 Impact Aid payment -- no exceptions. NAFIS staff encourage early submissions to ensure all pieces of your application are submitted correctly and to avoid any last-minute technical glitches. For more information, see the application announcement. NAFIS Newsletter 12-18-2015.
WASHINGTON – Today
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick voted for the FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2029, which passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support, 316-113. This measure funds the government for FY 2016.
“It was refreshing to vote for an omnibus bill that includes smart investments in jobs, education, transportation and infrastructure. And this bill is especially good for Arizona, with increases for wildfire grants programs, national parks, Pell Grants, Head Start, Impact Aid and much more. Instead of the usual shutdown threats and brinksmanship, Congress worked together on this compromise bill, and while it isn’t perfect, it deserved to pass with overwhelming support. As I’ve often said, bipartisanship is the way to get things done. In 2016, I hope Congress will chart a similar path -- one that is paved with more results than rancor.”