I. The Upcoming IRA Conference’s Opportunities to Focus on Advocacy
IRA Literacy Research Panel’s session on policy-
Saturday, Noon – 1:00 PM, room 214C, Convention Center
IRA Committee on the Common Core State Standards session for state council leaders on current issues impacting IRA members-
Sunday, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM, room 206A, Convention Center
IRA Government Relations Committee workshop, with a major emphasis on the Common Core State Standards Assessments
Monday, 9:00 AM – 11:45 AM, room 006D, Convention Center
In addition if you wish time to talk with Rich Long about your government relations program, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the conference he will be holding “office hours” on (feel free to stop by):
Saturday, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, lobby Marriott River Center, near Starbucks
Sunday, 10:00 AM – Noon, lobby Marriott River Center, near Starbucks
II. LEARN Act
The Literacy for All Americans, Results for the Nation (LEARN Act) will be reintroduced in the House and Senate over the next several weeks. IRA and other organizations have been supporting passage of this proposal. The House LEARN prime movers, Congressman Polis (D-CO) and Yarmuth (D-KY) are asking for other members of Congress to sign on as an original co-sponsor by Tuesday, April 16.
Contact your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the legislation. They will know how to do this.
If enacted, LEARN would provide funds to states to support professional development activities to support literacy instruction from age 0 to grade 12.
Last Congress we had 26 members sign on as original co-sponsors (six are no longer in Congress):
Rep Yarmuth (D-KY) – signed on
Rep Polis (D-CO) – signed on
Rep Cicilline (D-RI)
Rep Nadler (D-NY)
Rep Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) – signed on
Rep Clarke (D-NY)
Rep Rangel (D-NY)
Rep Hank Johnson (D-GA) – signed on
Rep Cohen (D-TN)
Rep Al Green (D-TX)
Rep Hinojosa (D-TX)
Rep Jackson Lee (D-TX) – signed on
Rep Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep Loebsack (D-IA) – signed on
Rep Holmes Norton (D-DC) – signed on
Rep Sablan (D-MP)
Rep Scott (D-VA)
Rep Waters (D-CA)
Rep Wilson (D-FL) – signed on
Rep Rahall (D-WV)
Call your member of Congress at 202-225-3121. Ask for their office; when you reach that office state your request. To sign on, your member of Congress will need to then contact Rep. Polis or Rep. Yarmuth’s office.
On Wednesday, April 10, the President submitted his budget request to the Congress. It is his proposal for how the Congress should allocate funds. The proposal outlined ideas to provide universal Pre-K to be funded with an increased tobacco tax. It also asks for level funding for Title I and proposes to create a block grant for literacy by combining several current authorities, including the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program. The President has been proposing this change for three years. The proposal also includes recommendations to fund Race to the Top and the Investment in Innovation Fund (I3).
Click here to see a the full education budget document that includes explanations.
The budget document has another twist. It doesn’t have final numbers from FY 13. These numbers were to be agreed to for the March 27th Continuing Resolution that funds the government until the next fiscal year (starting Oct 1st). This means that states will not be receiving information on how much will be flowing to the states that then goes to the local schools. For Title I schools this means that they will not know how they’re funding level for several more weeks. The reasons for this are that the sequester cut is in addition to an across-the-board cut, AND then, for Title I, it has to fit into the formula which also says no district can be cut more than 15%.
IV. Coming Up
The Congressional budget process has completed action in both chambers (the President’s budget was two months late). It is questionable whether or not a House-Senate conference will be held. For education the two Congressional budget documents have the same allocation for the appropriators and this is less than last year’s level. This means that there are no additional funds to replace what was lost to the sequester – and it is likely the amount will be lower for FY 14 (school year 2-14-15).
We are also expecting information on the specific funding level for each school district receiving Title I funds in late April or early May.
During the summer the debt ceiling struggle will be back on the table.
Please remember that the summer Council Leadership Academy is going to include a set of workshops on legislation. This Council Leadership Academy is being held in Minneapolis, MN, June 28–30, 2013.
Click here to register for the Council Leadership Academy.
To follow legislative information on twitter go to: @rlongliteracy