NSBA Federal Update
NSBA's Call Your Member of Congress Day: May 9
Wednesday, May 9, is the second Call Your Member of Congress Day sponsored by the National School Boards Association. On this day, trustees are encouraged to contact federal legislators and tell them to support the reauthorization of ESEA.
Instructions on how to participate are available here. Visit ESEA Now! for other ideas and information.
ESEA Reauthorization Takes Another Step
In the first action since the February 28 markup of the two major ESEA reauthorization bills -- H.R. 3989, the Success for All Students Act, and H.R. 3990, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act -- the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Thursday released the two committee reports that accompany the bills.
The release came on the heels of a letter sent by NSBA Executive Director Anne Bryant and other state and locally-based organizations to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging both chambers to complete the ESEA reauthorization so that it may be completed before the adjournment of the 112th Congress.
That the Committee chose to issue House Report Nos. 112-458 and 112-459, which total 1000 pages, is a sign that the House leadership may be preparing to move forward and take the bills up on the floor.
The reports will be published in the Congressional Record when the House reconvenes on May 7. While the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee marked up its still unnumbered version of the ESEA reauthorization on October 19, 2011, the committee report has still not been released.
Louisiana Implements Statewide Vouchers
Public school districts in Louisiana will bear a portion of the cost of a new statewide voucher program, according to a legislative report. Despite the adverse fiscal effects on local districts, Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed through the program in April amid concerns that the public schools will lose state funds under the current formula but will not be able to cut costs.
The report, conducted by the Legislative Fiscal Office, analyzed the fiscal effects of the legislation and estimated that the cost to the New Orleans School Board will be about $5 million.
Previously, vouchers in the state were only been available in New Orleans. Louisiana has become the eighth state that has a statewide voucher program.
Get more information on why vouchers are bad public policy at the Voucher Strategy Center.
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