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Using Some of the $13.5B in K12 CARES Act ESSER Funds to Support K12 Parent Engagement

By Dr. David Holbrook | April 9, 2020

Congress passed the staggering $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that includes the authority for the Secretary of Education to waive certain federal requirements. It also includes about $38 billion in funding for higher education and K-12 education. The Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) Fund portion of the CARES Act includes $13.5 billion for K-12 education.

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FY2020 Federal Education Budget Includes Increases for Multiple ESSA Programs

By Dr. David Holbrook | February 5, 2020

Just before the holidays, the US Congress passed, and Trump signed an appropriations bill into law that funds education for the 2020-2021 school year. The funding for education includes increases for many programs with a $1.3 Billion increase overall. School districts that receive Title I, Title III, or other federal education program funding will likely see an increase in per-pupil funding in the 20-21 school year. More information about funding levels for specific programs can be found in this Education Week article.

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What is "Public Charge?"

By Dr. David Holbrook | April 4, 2019

The current administration and the Department of Homeland security have proposed changes to the rule called "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds." For educators, the group that the Public Charge policy and the proposed changes to that policy most closely impacts is students in immigrant families. 

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First Two Chapters of EL Family Tool Kit Released

By Dr. David Holbrook | March 26, 2019

The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) at the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced the release of the first two chapters of a new resource, the "English Learner Family Tool Kit". The English Learner (EL) Family Tool Kit will eventually contain six chapters or topics when complete. Release dates for additional chapters are not provided but will likely be announced by USED.

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New FERPA Frequently Asked Questions Document Released

By Dr. David Holbrook | March 7, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has released a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that pulls together information regarding the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and how that law relates to school safety. The FERPA FAQ guidance came not long after they released their 2018 Student Privacy Guidance.

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USED Posts Title I Supplement not Supplant Guidance for Public Comment

By Dr. David Holbrook | February 7, 2019

In 2016 the Obama administration drafted ESSA Title I Supplement not Supplant regulations, which were later withdrawn just before the transition to the Trump administration. If the Obama era regulations had gone into effect and they were later rescinded by the Trump administration, according to the law that allows regulations to be rescinded, the Trump administration would have been prohibited from issuing new regulations on this topic. Now, two years later, USED has posted Supplement not Supplant Guidance for public comment .

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USED Issues Addendum to September 2016 EL Guidance

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 11, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) posted new guidance related to the ESSA requirements for English Learners (ELs) on its website yesterday (January 10, 2019). This guidance is essential as it provides clarity and puts explicitly into writing answers to some of the remaining questions surrounding the implementation of ESSA for educators.

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U.S. Department of Education Awards Charter School Grants

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 28, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) awarded nearly $400 million in federal grants to support and expand charter schools in States and districts. The grants are part of the Charter Schools Program under USED's Office of Innovation and Improvement. These funds were part of the FY 2018 funding package that was passed by the U.S. Congress in the spring of this year.

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Opposition to Elimination of USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) comes from EL Advocacy Groups and Congress

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 5, 2018

Back in February I wrote about the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos’, proposed reorganization of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that would eliminate the USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Since then, a group of 18 EL advocacy organizations and members of the U.S. Congress have written letters in opposition to the elimination of OELA.

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USED Receiving Applications for Statewide Family Engagement Centers

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 5, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has published notice in the Federal Register that it is receiving applications for Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs). Funding for SFECs is authorized under Title IV, Part E of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This is the first time this funding will be awarded under ESSA.

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