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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Research Hearing, Bills Introduced

Congress Passes Temporary Spending Bill

The House and Senate passed a spending package that includes a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 16, 2011. The bill also includes a “minibus” spending package of three appropriations bills – Agriculture, Transportation-HUD, and Commerce-Science-Justice – funded through the end of the fiscal year. House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (KY) has said that he intends package the remaining nine appropriations bills into a single omnibus bill, which would include the Labor-HHS-Education bill.

While the new CR does not restore the 1.5% cut to Perkins from the previous CR, we have learned from the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Education that if the final spending bill does not include language regarding reductions to advanced appropriations, then the 1.5% cut enacted in October will be restored to states.

Because the restoration of the 1.5% is not a done deal, we urge you call your Member of Congress today to make sure they are aware of the situation and they act to restore these funds to Perkins.

House Hearing on Education Research

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing to examine the federal role in education research. The purpose of the hearing – “Education Research: Identifying Effective Programs to Support Students and Teachers” – was to ensure that education research is beneficial to parents, teachers, and students. Some of the topics discussed by witnesses included: connecting data across learner levels, using education research in a way that benefits students, and creating incentives for teachers and schools that incorporate research-backed methods into their work.

Bills Introduced

Pathways Back to Work

On Monday, Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the Pathways Back to Work Act which would enact the portions of President Obama’s American Jobs Act that provide employment opportunities and skills training for the unemployed. The Pathways Back to Work Act focuses on three area:

  • Job Creation for Struggling Working Families: Allocates $5 billion for a fund to create jobs for unemployed adults, providing an immediate economic boost and immediate relief to families who have been struggling with unemployment.
  • Summer and Year Round Jobs for Youth: Program would include $1.5 billion in funding for programs to provide summer and year-round employment opportunities for youth. 
  • Competitive Grants for Work-Based Training for Unemployed Adults and Youth: Would provide a $1.5 billion competitive grant program to local entities offering work-based training or education programs for unemployed adults and youth.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

 

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