NREA Weekly Updates: March 18th 2022

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NREA Podcast
Just as attendees have two ways to participate in this year’s event, presenters will have the option to present in person or virtually. In-person presenters will follow the typical event model of presenting onsite in Green Bay during a designated time. Virtual presenters will be required to pre-record their sessions and submit them prior to the event.

We are seeking in-person and virtual presentations of the following types: 

20-Minute Research Symposium Sessions

These 20–minute sessions showcase leading research on rural education issues. Proposals for research presentations should be blinded and provide a summary of the research that addresses the following: background and relevance to rural education and the conference, purpose and research questions, method, findings (preliminary for proposal or finalized/approved for presentation), discussion of implications for rural education, and references. 
Research proposals will be peer-reviewed by members of the NREA research committee and selected based on reviewer scoring and recommendations. Authors of top-scoring research proposals will compete for the distinguished Howard A. Dawson Best Research Paper Award. Submitting authors of a small number of top-scoring research proposals will be invited to send the full paper to be read and judged by the awards subcommittee.

60-Minute Sessions

These sessions are intended to go into more depth around innovative or promising practices aligned with the event theme and guiding questions in a 60-minute format. The style of your session could range from an in-depth and interactive learning experience to a panel discussion, to an informal conversation where audience participation is the main component.

Please note:
National Rural Education Association has the option to move forward with the event as a fully virtual event if circumstances prevent an in-person gathering. If the event must become fully virtual, NREA will reimburse presenters and attendees for the difference between in-person and virtual registration fees.
The Daily Yonder: NREA Featured Members...
Three-part series created by members of the National Rural Education Association.
Three-part series created by members of the National Rural Education Association.
Editor’s Note: Rural education leaders reacted strongly to a 2021 article in the New York Times Magazine portraying the struggles of a Mississippi teenager trying to get a good education from a historically troubled rural school district. Although the article’s goals may have been narrower, its structure and title — “The Tragedy of America’s Rural Schools,” written by an editor, not the reporter — made a summary judgment on all rural educators and students.

Today we start a three-part series written by members of the National Rural Education Association that attempts to provide a broader view of the nation’s rural schools. The first two writers examine how rural schools’ challenges are not the result of fate or rural people’s personal failings; rather, they stem from public policies that create inequities and hurdles. The third article looks at rural school systems where innovation and leadership have created promising solutions.

Dr. Devon Brenner, Dr. Jared Bigham, & Dr. Brad Mitchell.
Read More
The NATIONAL SIGNATURE PROJECT AWARD is awarded annually to an outstanding and innovative classroom project that exemplifies the very best in rural, place-based education. The National Signature Project Award is open to any rural classroom teacher in the United States, and it is jointly funded by the Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) and the National Rural Education Association (NREA).

The grant application deadline is FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2022 by 11:59 P.M.
The maximum award is $2,500. PLEASE NOTE: We recognize that your project could be subject to change due to Covid-19, and that is okay. Conceptual proposals are fine at this time, and, if needed, we will work with the Award recipient to move forward to highlight their work. 

In addition to the maximum award of $2,500, The Rural Schools Collaborative and National Rural Education Association will compensate both the awardee's travel and registration fees for their attendance to The 2022 National Forum to Advance Rural Education - happening in Green Bay, Wisconsin October 20-21, 2022. 
Place-based education gives meaning to learning, strengthens the bonds between school and community, and instills pride in the cultures and histories of rural places and small towns. We hope you will consider submitting an application to this program.
RSC & NREA: Rural Teacher Job Board
Discovery Education Equity Talks Series
Discovery Education Equity Talks Series
Discovery Education Equity Talks is a live webinar series featuring our nation’s top education leaders as they discuss cultivating equity and excellence for all. Moderated by Dr. Luvelle Brown, superintendent of Ithaca City School District, and Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Founder & CEO Voice4Equity, these 45-minute segments focus on how school leaders are cultivating equity and excellence in education, the special April session has a focus on Equity in Rural Education.
Featured guests will explore topics such as:
Best Practices to Support Equity in Any Learning Environment
Districtwide and Statewide Equity-Focused Initiatives
Fostering a Diverse Workforce through College and Career Readiness
Student Voices on Issues of Equity
Support for Special Populations
Register for the April 7th Equity in Rural Education Session today!
Donors Choose: Helping Rural Districts
Donors Choose: Helping Rural Districts
Member districts,

Our friends at the charity DonorsChoosehave some exciting funding available for NREA members who act soon. Rural districts have already benefited from $120 million in new, free resources thanks to their national community of individual and corporate donors, and they are offering $1,000 to your district to support your teachers' classroom dreams.

Through their free District Partnership Program, DonorsChoose can help your teachers innovate, raise support from generous donors outside your community, and ensure every student has the resources for quality education. As an NREA member, you can join this program which will provide you and your administrative team with exclusive benefits like
  • advanced notice of funding opportunities,
  • automated data reports,
  • a district-branded landing page on the DonorsChoose site, and much more.

As a special incentive, DonorsChoose is offering to fund $1,000 in classroom projects for the first 20 districts that respond to this opportunity and apply to join the District Partnership Program. Simply mention NREA in your application (which takes <1 minute), and the DonorsChoose team will get you onboarded and provide a donation code so that you can directly support resources in your schools with the $1,000 donation.

To get started, sign up to become a free DonorsChoose partner by clicking below (and don't forget to mention NREA).
Read More
FY22 Education Funding Overview: The final FY22 LHHS appropriations bill includes $220.8 b in base non-defense discretionary funding. Despite the bold, proposed investments in Title I and in K-12 education programs by President Biden, Congress only chose to increase investments in a few select programs. Specific to education, the bill allocates $42.6 billion, an increase of $2 billion compared to the prior year, for K-12, which is the largest overall investment in K-12 programs in a decade.
  • Title I is funded at $17.5 b ($1 b increase over FY21, but below the $20 b increase proposed by the President and the House, and the $16.5 b increase in the Senate). The increased Title I funding would be allocated across all four funding formulae: $6.4 b for Basic; $1.36 b for Concentrated; $4.86 b for Targeted; and $4.86 b for EFIG).
  • IDEA is funded at $13.6 b ($406 m increase over FY21, but $2 b below current ARP levels, $2.5 b below the levels proposed by the President, Senate, and House). IDEA federal funding share would fall from 15.5% to approx. 13.6% of the authorized 40%.
  • Title II Part A (Educator Professional Development) is funded at $2.2 b ($27 m increase over FY21).
  • Title IV Part A is funded at $1.28 b (an increase of $60 m over FY21).
  • Title IV Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers) is funded at $1.29 b ($30 m increase over FY21).
  • Community Schools is funded at $75 m (an increase of $45 m over FY21).
  • Mental Health includes $111 m for mental health professionals in schools via Title IV-F School Safety National Activities): $55 m for Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration Grants (an increase of $45 m over FY21) and $56 m for School-Based Mental Health Services Grants (an increase of $45 m over FY21).
  • Rural Education Achievement Program is funded at $195 m ($7.16 m increase over FY21).
  • McKinney Vento Homeless Children and Youth is funded at $$114 m ($7.5 m increase over FY21).
  • English Language Acquisition is funded at $831.4 m ($34 m increase over FY21).
  • Career and Technical Education is funded at $1.38 b ($45 m increase over FY21).
  • Head Start is funded at $11.037 b ($289 m increase over FY21).
  • Impact Aid is funded at $1.557 b ($56 m increase over FY21).
  • Educator Pipeline Programs are funded at $162.1 million ($20 m more than FY21, but $270 m less than the President’s proposal). This includes $8 million for Hawkins Centers of Excellence; $59.1 m for the Teacher Quality Partnership Program; and $95 m for IDEA-D-PP.
  • School Nutrition waivers are not extended. What will this mean for schools?
  • Summer Food Service Reimbursement Rate Waivers: Ending this means school meal programs will receive substantially fewer reimbursements while the cost of food, labor, and supplies continues to increase.
  • Meal Pattern Waivers: Ending this waiver means school programs will once again face significant challenges in getting the food they need to meet meal pattern requirements, including sodium, whole-grain, milk variety, vegetable subgroups, and planned menus for age/grade spans. November 2021 survey from the School Nutrition Association found that more than 96% of school meal programs cited challenges with suppliers not carrying sufficient menu items needed to meet nutrition standards, such as whole-grain, low-sodium, and low-fat options.
  • Congregate Setting Waivers: Ending this waiver means schools will no longer be able to provide meals to students outside of school, even if schools close or a student must quarantine due to COVID-19. Meal programs will no longer have the regulatory flexibility they need to serve all their students safely and quickly adapt operations.
  • Seamless Summer Option Waiver: Ending this waiver means schools will now have to gather Free and Reduced Priced Lunch applications for the first time in two years, a significant administrative burden, rife with a social stigma.
  • Food and Nutrition Service (USDA) is funded at $26.883 b ($1.7 b over FY21, $4 m below the requested level). This includes $26.778 b for child nutrition programs; $30 m for school breakfast program equipment grants; $45 m for Summer EBT demonstration grants; $6 m for School Breakfast Expansion Grants; $12 m for Farm to School; and $2 m for Child Nutrition Training.


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