NREA Weekly Updates: June 24th, 2022

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NFARE 2022: Become a Friend of Rural! Join our Growing List of Sponsors.
We Can Do This Campaign: NREA and Rural Educators: 3-Great Stories from the Field
Commentary: The Importance of Covid Vaccination in Rural Schools
Commentary: The Importance of Covid Vaccination in Rural Schools
Three rural educators write about why vaccination against Covid-19 is extremely beneficial for rural students, teachers, families, and communities.
and Diana Outlaw June 22, 2022
Recently, three members of the National Rural Education Association wrote about how protection from the worst of Covid-19 through vaccination supports the learning of students, the health of families, and the spirits of communities.
With vaccines now approved for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, everyone in the United States is eligible for the shot except babies under six months of age and those with contraindications to vaccination (such as an allergy to a component of the vaccine).
Unfortunately, for the last two months, the pace of new rural vaccinations has remained flat.
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Theory & Practice in Rural Education
Theory & Practice in Rural Education
East Carolina University’s (ECU) Rural Education Institute, in partnership with ECU Library Services, is pleased to share with you the spring 2022 issue of its scholarly publication, Theory & Practice in Rural Education (TPRE). This online, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, publishes articles focused on issues related to rural schools, students, educators, institutions of higher education, and communities.
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Every student deserves a champion
Every student deserves a champion
Classroom Champions is a year-long life skills program that matches currently competing Olympic, Paralympic, and professional athlete role models in classrooms. The athletes focus on a different skill each month:
  • Centering your Emotions
  • Goal setting
  • Perseverance (check out how one of our mentors demonstrated this at the Beijing Olympics)
  • Giving and receiving feedback with empathy
  • Teamwork
  • Serving your community
  • Healthy living and making good choices
  • Leadership
Each unit has a weekly lesson plan and video featuring an athlete role model. Units also include a culminating challenge project, a family video and activity, and a library of Mindful Minute videos related to the theme. The program includes everything teachers need and is all digital- that's how we get these competing athletes into your classroom! Here's what it looks likein action.
If you'd like to learn more about how to connect your classrooms with an Olympian contact
Smithsonian National Education Summit:

Come together July 27–28 for the Smithsonian National 
Education Summit! Together We Thrive: Our Shared 
Future Through Education. You’ll hear from teachers, 
museum experts and education policymakers in 30+ free
online and in-person skill-building workshops across 
subject areas, and leave with a toolbox full of 
classroom-ready ideas:
Unfinished Agenda: The Future of Standards-Based School Reform
Unfinished Agenda: The Future of Standards-Based School Reform
The long campaign to raise standards in the nation’s public schools, for decades the cornerstone of efforts to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes of traditionally underserved students, is out of fashion in school reform circles. Critics charge it has been “a giant waste of time” and should be pushed aside in favor of a return to local education agendas. It’s true the standards movement hasn’t achieved as much as we and others who have worked in the movement since its inception had hoped for, although it has increased the rigor of state standards and improved the quality of state tests overall. The Common Core, the movement’s culminating initiative, has survived relatively intact in many states, often under a different name. Even in cases where it was scrapped, studies suggest that subsequent state standards are generally stronger than their pre-Common Core predecessors. But the fundamental problem posed by the standards movement persists: Millions of students—particularly Black and Latino children and those from low-income families—continue to be taught to low expectations. And that lack of rigor remains a major barrier to economic mobility and social justice.
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CEF & NREAC: HHS Ed-Appropriations Subcommittee FY 2023
House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee FY 2023 bill text 
  • Links to the bill text and Subcommittee summary  This evening the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee released its fiscal year (FY) 2023 bill in advance of the Subcommittee’s markup of the bill tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Bill text –  Department of Education (ED) language starts on page 144, HHS’s Administration for Children and Families starts on page 86, DOL’s Employment and Training Administration starts on page 2, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services is on page 184.
  • Subcommittee summary (press release)
  • Topline – The bill provides a big increase for ED, but less than the even larger increase the President requested. It provides $86.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, which is $1.6 billion less than the President’s request and $11.3 billion (15%) above the net level provided for FY 2022 (it is $10.3 billion above the gross level provided for FY 2022, but that total included a $1.0 billion rescission of previously appropriated Pell Grant funding). I cannot yet tell the level for every program because the bill text specifies funding for the accounts (which often include many programs), and only sometimes for individual programs. Once we see the Committee report – likely next Wednesday, the day before the scheduled Committee markup – we’ll know every program level. The attached preliminary CEF education table reflects the funding levels specified in the bill or in the Appropriations Committee’s press release; I’ll update and recirculate it next week when I can fill in all the blanks. 
  • Comparison with last year’s that might be helpful – The President’s record-breaking request for FY 2022 included a $30 billion discretionary increase for ED programs, and Congress ultimately enacted a net increase of $2.3 billion. The entire Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill got an increase of about $14.5 billion last year, so ED got about 16% of the bill’s total increase. This year, the President requested a net increase of almost $13 billion for ED, and the Subcommittee provides an increase of $11.3 billion (remember that the Subcommittee describes it as a $10.3 billion increase since they don’t lower the FY 2022 total by the amount of the $1.0 recission – the Congressional Budget Office scores that as savings in the year it was enacted, which is what let Congress provide $1.0 more elsewhere without exceeding the allocation for the Subcommittee). This year the bill’s increase for ED is about 40% of the bill’s total increase – a far bigger share than Congress enacted last year. However, I’m keeping in mind that appropriations bills that can get enough bipartisan support to pass in the Senate will likely require more defense funding and funding for health research than the House bills currently provide, which likely means that funding for programs including education will be less than in this bill
  • Where the big funding increases are – The two biggest elementary and secondary education programs get big increases, as does funding for school-based mental health services and several other programs, including the following:
  • Title I Grants to States – the bill has a $3 billion (17%) increase, matching the President’s discretionary increase (the President’s budget also had $16 billion in new mandatory spending funding, which is not in this bill);
  • IDEA Part B Grants to States – the bill has a $2.9 billion (22%) increase, matching the President’s request, which is part of a $3.2 billion increase for all special education programs; 
  • Mental Health Services – the bill matches the President’s request for $1 billion for school-based mental health professionals, but doesn’t fund it in a new program within the School Improvement Program account but rather by splitting it between two existing but unfunded programs in the Safe Schools account;
  • Full-service community schools – the bill matches the President’s request for a $393 million (524%) increase;
  • English Language Acquisition – the bill includes a $169 million increase, which is less than the President’s $244 million requested increase;
  • TRIO programs – the bill matches the President’s request for a $161 million (14%) increase; and
  • Education Innovation and Research – the bill has a $150 million (64%) increase, which includes a $50 million increase for evidence-based innovations to address social, emotional, and cognitive needs.
Early childhood programs in HHS:
  • Head Start – the bill provides an increase of $1.4 billion (12%), which exceeds the President’s request; and
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant – the bill provides an increase of $1.0 billion (16%), which is less than the President’s request.
  • Other notable items - 
  • Maximum Pell grant – the bill increases the maximum Pell Grant by $500, to $7,395, which would be the biggest increase in years but is $1,275 less than the President’s request for FY 2023.
  • Earmarks (aka, community project funding) – the bill includes $154 million for elementary and secondary education earmarks in the Innovation and Improvement account, slightly more than the $140 million in the FY 2022 bill; that surprises me since this is the total for just the House requests and not Senators’ request. The bill includes $209 million for higher education earmarks, slightly less than the $249 million provided in FY 2022. The projects and who requested the funding will be listed in the Committee report, which should be released next week before the full Appropriations Committee takes up this bill.
  • DACA recipients – the bill makes DREAMERS eligible for Pell grants, student loans, TRIO, and GEAR-UP assistance, among other federal student aid.
  • Proprietary institutions of higher education – the bill would require for-profit colleges to get at least 15% of their revenue from non-federal sources (in other words, not from federal student aid), up from the current 10% requirement. 


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