Recent updates

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Recent advocacy actions by Learning Forward

  • June 2023: Learning Forward's Capitol Hill Briefing, "Professional Learning IS Stronger Schools: Title II-A Funding and the Federal Education Budget," was a huge success! Title II-A received a lot of needed attention and well-deserved recognition as the conversation focused on how professional learning is critical to retaining teachers, intensifying academic recover, and meeting the needs of all students.
    For a summary of the briefing, , and to watch the full briefing, .
  • June 2023: Learning Forward, in conjunction with the national Title II coalition (AFSA, NAESP, NASSP, New Leaders, and Learning Forward), sent a letter signed by 40 national education organizations to Congress calling on them to adequately fund Title II, Part A in FY 2024 appropriations. The debt ceiling legislation sets top-line numbers for appropriations, but important decisions remain on the specific levels each program will receive. (See letter here.)
  • May 2023: Learning Forward President & CEO Frederick Brown sent a letter to Congress advocating for a $210 million increase for TitleII-A in the forthcoming FY2024 Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill. (See letter here.)

Congress Gets Back to Work - Title II-A Faces Big Challenges

Congress is now fully back from its August recess – and it is facing a mountain of work. Its first task will be to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR), a temporary spending measure that will keep the government operating beyond October 1, when the new fiscal year begins. The nation is in this predicament because Congress has not and likely will not be able to pass any of the twelve separate Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills that fund federal government agencies and program owing to funding disagreements and controversial policy riders. Just getting a short-term CR of two to three months done is shaping up to be a heavy lift. House conservatives are demanding deeper cuts to federal spending in exchange for their votes on a CR, something which Senate Democrats and the White House oppose. Resolving this impasse will be the federal government’s focus in September.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate will try to make progress on passing and even negotiating the final versions of the Fiscal Year 2024 funding bills. The central challenge to moving these is the stratospherically different overall and individual program funding levels that the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees have advanced. For example, the House Appropriations Subcommittee’s proposed funding level for the US Department of Education is more than $20 billion below what its Senate counterpart has approved and what Congress itself passed last year. Amongst other cuts, the House version would eliminate Title II-A entirely, as well as cut Title I by 80%. The Senate version maintains funding at last year’s levels for most programs – including Title II-A.

Learning Forward is working hard to preserve at least level funding for Title II-A, as the Senate Appropriations committee has already agreed to do. But we will need the help of everyone in the Learning Forward community to weigh-in for their Members of Congress on the value proposition of federal spending on professional learning, particularly in terms of learning recovery and student achievement. If we do not succeed, our students, schools and fellow educators will face tough budgetary decisions next year.