Lucy Gettman, Director of Federal Programs at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) spoke at a public meeting on the Race to the Top Preschool Development (RTT-Preschool) Grants, which was held at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in Washington, D.C. on March 20.
The public meeting gave an opportunity for several education community voices to go on record with recommendations and priorities for the Department of Education and the Department of Health & Human Services as well as reply to questions from constituents about the upcoming grant competition.
Although ED has rolled out a new website to handle constituent feedback, NSBA wanted to ensure the public would be heard during this process. Gettman urged Department leadership to institute new processes for handling public feedback.
“Given the high interest in and importance of early learning, NSBA first and foremost recommends that implementation of the RTT-Preschool program include a formal Public Comment and rulemaking process through the Federal Register,” said Gettman. “This will ensure reliability for stakeholders submitting Comments, as well as transparency and responsiveness to public input.”
As part of the meeting, Gettman also stated NSBA’s six top-level recommendations to the Department to ensure local governance is getting the support needed to implement. NSBA urges the agencies to:
· Require significant local educational agency involvement in the development and implementation of state RTT-preschool applications;
· Support capacity building for local eligible entities, not just states;
· Refrain from conditioning receipt of funds on development, adoption or implementation of new nationally-recognized standards;
· Preserve local authority with regard to workforce issues;
· Require at least 80 percent of competitive grant funds be disseminated to local eligible entities as sub-grants;
· Publicly release the required report to Congress.
To listen to Gettman’s full statement, please navigate to the 10:00 minute mark on the recorded public meeting.
Learn more about NSBA’s position on early education.