Articles tagged with appropriations

School boards encourage local school district flexibility for school meals

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is encouraging the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations to provide funding for school kitchen equipment modernization and flexibility for school districts struggling with child nutrition regulations. Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director of NSBA, sent a letter today regarding NSBA’s concerns on school meals to Appropriations committee members before they consider FY 2015 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The vote on this is expected to happen on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

The letter notes:

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), representing more than 90,000 local school board members across the nation, working with and through our state school boards associations, writes to express support for local school district flexibility and modest regulatory relief for school meal programs in the FY 2015 Appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Students need healthy meals and adequate nutrition to achieve their potential in the classroom, and school board members are committed to ensuring all students are prepared to learn. However, school boards cannot ignore the higher costs and operational issues created by
mandates in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (PL 111-296). Therefore, NSBA supports two important measures in the legislation that the Committee will consider on May 29, 2014:

• NSBA supports the appropriation of $25 million for school meal equipment grants, which will help schools prepare and serve healthier meals, and improve food safety.

• NSBA also supports a provision requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a process by which a state shall grant a temporary waiver from compliance with national nutrition standards.

The waiver provision offers relief to school districts from some of the federal mandates that have led to soaring operational costs along with other unintended consequences, such as plate waste and reduced participation.

NSBA looks forward to working with Congress and the Secretary to assure that school districts can successfully comply with the law and also serve the very best meals and provide excellent nutrition to children.

Alexis Rice|May 28th, 2014|Categories: School Boards, Federal Programs, Nutrition, Legislative advocacy, Federal Advocacy|Tags: , , , |

With budget passage, America’s school boards encourage Congress to prioritize education funding

Here is the statement from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel praising the U.S. Senate for passing the budget plan known as the Bipartisan Budget Act, which seeks to restore many of the cuts to prek-12 education:

NSBA thanks the U.S. Senators who put partisan differences aside and approved the Bipartisan Budget Act today. This measure will help mitigate the impact of the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration and restore critical programs to public schools across the nation. We are pleased that President Barack Obama has pledged to quickly sign the bill.

This budget is particularly critical for America’s public schools to continue to improve and educate a growing and diverse population of students. Our economy is dependent on our ability to prepare our next generation of students for college and career readiness in today’s complex global economy. That foundation begins at prek-12 levels.

As Congress now moves forward with the remaining work of the FY14 appropriations process, we urge the Appropriations Committees to write funding bills that prioritize federal education programs that are crucial to helping our most disadvantaged students, specifically Title I and grants for students with disabilities. These federal programs are essential to support long‐standing federal commitments and help offset the recent budget cuts, which have forced school districts to cut academic programs and have disproportionately hurt our neediest students and schools.

We especially thank Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray for their leadership in finding a solution that will help America’s public schools. We support their continued leadership to develop a long-term solution that will sustain federal investments in prek-12 education and put our students first.

Additionally, NSBA, along with other leading national education groups, sent a letter to members of Congress this evening to encourage that education priorities and federal commitments are addressed in the appropriations process.

Alexis Rice|December 18th, 2013|Categories: School Boards, Budgeting, Legislative advocacy, Federal Advocacy|Tags: , , , , , , , |

NSBA sees showdown looming on federal budget bills

NSBA is expecting significant differences between the House and Senate budget bills as members of Congress work to create a spending plan for most education programs for the rest of fiscal 2011.

On Feb. 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would cut funding for many K-12 programs, including Title I, according to the GOP’s analysis. The bill, H.R. 1, passed by a 235-189 vote, with three Republicans joining Democrats in opposition.

According to an analysis by NSBA’s advocacy department, H.R. 1 would reduce funding for more than 70 education programs by more than 16 percent, or $11.6 billion. The bill would reduce funding for Title I grants for disadvantaged students by $694 million, cut $337 million from Title I School Improvement Grants, and impose a $500 million cut to Teacher Quality State Grants.

NSBA’s advocacy efforts helped rescind a provision that would have cut special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by almost $558 million.  The House approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., to reinstate the funding, but the offsets would include the cuts to School Improvement Grants and Teacher Quality grants.

Because Congress did not pass a fiscal year 2011 budget last year for the Department of Education and several other agencies, K-12 programs have been funded at fiscal 2010 levels by a continuing resolution that expires March 4. Congress must now pass, and President Obama must approve, a new spending plan for those federal programs to continue to operate by March 4 or those federal agencies will be forced to shut down until a measure is approved.

The Senate is expected to create its own spending bill when its members return next week, and NSBA is anticipating significant differences between the House and Senate bills.

“While the House wants to cut key programs, the Senate wants to keep funding at fiscal 2010 levels,” said Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s associate executive director for advocacy. “NSBA will be fighting vigorously to maintain funding for all education programs, especially IDEA and Title I.”

NSBA sent a letter to members of Congress on Feb. 17 thanking them for their support of the IDEA funding amendment and urging them to invest in education.

President Obama has proposed a fiscal 2012 budget that would give modest increases to Title I, IDEA, and competitive grant programs.

Joetta Sack-Min|February 24th, 2011|Categories: Educational Legislation, School Board News|Tags: |
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