Federal Update

School Districts Will Be Able to Apply for RTTT Funds

Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan assured Congress that the Department of Education intends to use Fiscal Year 2012 Race to the Top funds for both a district level competition and another round of Early Learning Challenge grants.

The Fiscal Year 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act allows the Department of Education to issue approximately $549 million in Race to the Top (RTTT) grants to local school districts by allowing them to apply directly, rather than going through their respective state agencies. 

While details have yet to be worked out, the Secretary's testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS & Education stated that he intends to exercise the Department's authority to issue RTT grants directly to school districts in order to provide necessary resources, promote collaboration and strengthen the program.   

"Contact Congress Now" Day is Next Week

Wednesday, April 18, has been adopted by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) as "Contact Congress Now" Day when school board members are strongly urged to collectively communicate to their members of Congress.

The message next week will be: REAUTHORIZE ESEA NOW! 

Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind) so America's schoolchildren do not have to wait any longer for the federal law to be updated!

Although the House and Senate have made progress with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) bills by each of the respective congressional education committees, the legislative process appears to have stalled. 

Our local schools should not have to wait any longer - there is too much at stake for America's schoolchildren.

Take a few minutes to contact your members of congress and senators using NSBA's sample letters. Please participate in at least two or three of these Recommended Activities (pdf).

School boards must urge Congress to move on a bill that must be improved and not "shelved" for the next new Congress to address.

School board members must also get the message out to their communities to show the negative impact not reauthorizing the bill is having on their local public schools.