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Proposed Funding Cuts
3/2/2015 12:00 AM
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has released new data detailing the impact of potential cuts to school districts serving high concentrations of Black and Hispanic students as a result of proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has released new data detailing the impact of potential cuts to school districts serving high concentrations of Black and Hispanic students as a result of proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). According to the department, the data show that the House Republicans' proposal would provide the largest 33 school districts with high concentrations of Black and Hispanic students over $3 billion less in federal funding than the President's budget over six years. The cuts in education spending would be the result of locking funding at sequestration levels and allowing states to divert money from schools serving vulnerable student populations to wealthier districts.

“The partisan proposal in the House flies in the face of what ESEA was created to do—give every child an equal opportunity to be successful. This bill is bad for children and would turn back the clock on progress. At exactly the time we should be expanding opportunity for America’s students and helping schools recover from the recession, this bill would allow unconscionable funding cuts. Our teachers and students deserve better,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.

Of the 100 largest school districts in the country, DOE said the following districts serving high concentrations of Black students could lose a total of more than $1.3 billion in federal funding: Baltimore City Public Schools (MD), Detroit City School District (MI), Prince George's County Public Schools (MD), Shelby County School District (TN), Atlanta City School District (GA), Clayton County School District (GA), DeKalb County School District (GA), Cleveland Municipal School District (OH), Columbus City School District (OH), Milwaukee School District (WI) and Philadelphia City School District (PA).

Of the 100 largest school districts in the country, DOE said the following districts serving high concentrations of Hispanic students could lose a total of more than $1.9 billion in federal funding: Brownsville Independent School District (TX), Santa Ana Unified School District (CA), San Antonio Independent School District (TX), El Paso Independent School District (TX), Pasadena Independent School District, Los Angeles Unified School District (CA), San Bernardino City Unified School District (CA), Aldine Independent School District (TX), Dallas Independent School District (TX), Northside Independent School District (TX), Dade County School District (FL), Albuquerque Public Schools (NM), Fresno Unified School District (CA), Houston Independent School District (TX), Tucson Unified District (AZ), Fort Worth Independent School District (TX), Austin Independent School District (TX), Denver County School District 1 (CO), North East Independent School District (TX), Osceola County School District (FL), Long Beach Unified School District (CA) and Garland Independent School District (TX).

The department said research builds on the White House report, Investing in our Future: Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College and Careers.

According to the DOE, the Obama Administration has called for a bipartisan overhaul of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—also known as No Child Left Behind—with a law that not only ensures students are prepared for college, careers and life, but also delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child. DOE said the administration's vision for the new law includes giving teachers and principals the resources they need, expanding high-quality preschool for families, supporting schools and districts in creating innovative new solutions, and ensuring accountability for low-performing schools and performance of traditionally underserved populations.

To learn more, visit http://1.usa.gov/17ujGUk.
2/23/2015 12:00 AM

The Corporation for National and Community Service has announced $6.7 million for tribal groups to provide funding for AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has announced a new opportunity for tribal groups to provide funding for AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers to help tribes tackle the unique challenges facing Native American communities.

“We are committed to working with tribal nations on a government-to-government basis and to identify ways that tribes can use national service to address their own unique challenges,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in a statement. “Through these competitions, tribal leaders have the opportunity to build on programs that are working in their communities.”

The AmeriCorps and Senior Corps grant competitions are designed to target resources on a core set of challenges: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. The two Senior Corps opportunities include even more specific goals: the Foster Grandparent Program is designed to improve educational outcomes for children with special or exceptional needs, while the Senior Companion Program is focused specifically on independent living or aging-in-place efforts.

CNCS said $3.2 million is available for the Foster Grandparent Program and $500,000 is available for the Senior Companion Program. The agency said it also expects to award $3 million in new, re-competing and continuation AmeriCorps grants in FY2015.

AmeriCorps applications are due April 29, 2015. Senior Corps applications are due May 14, 2015.

To learn more, visit http://1.usa.gov/1DoFJIs.

2/13/2015 12:00 AM
A $13.2 billion FY2016 budget proposal slotted for the Department of the Interior will continue the Obama administration’s strong support for Interior’s core missions.

A $13.2 billion FY2016 budget proposal slotted for the Department of the Interior (DOI) will continue the Obama administration’s strong support for Interior’s core missions, including protection of the nation’s cultural and natural heritage, management of energy development on public lands and waters, and investment in science, among other activities, the DOI said.

“This is a forward-looking budget that invests in Interior’s key missions so that we can continue to serve the American people,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in a statement. “The President’s budget provides targeted investments to grow our domestic energy portfolio, build climate resilience, and revitalize our national parks as they approach their 100th anniversary. The budget also helps fulfill our nation’s commitments to American Indians and Alaska Natives, including a much-needed and historic investment to help improve education for Indian children.”

DOI said the 2016 budget proposal is an increase of $959.2 million, about 8 percent, over the 2015 enacted level, including $11.9 billion for Interior programs funded by the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriation, and $1.1 billion for Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and Central Utah Project Completion Act, funded in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. The department said the budget would generate $5.6 billion in savings over 10 years through legislative reform proposals, including oil and gas management reforms to encourage diligent development of

Budget highlights Include, according to the DOI, include:

Land and Water Conservation Fund. The innovative, highly successful program reinvests royalties from offshore oil and gas activities into public lands, enabling access for sportsmen and hunters, protecting historic battlefields and providing grants to states for recreation and conservation projects.

NPS Centennial Funding. The budget includes funding in 2016 to allow the National Park Service to make targeted, measurable upgrades over the next ten years to all of its highest priority, non-transportation assets, restoring and maintaining them in good condition. The budget also proposes $150 million in discretionary and mandatory funding for a Centennial Challenge matching program to leverage private donations to parks, and $100 million in mandatory funding for a Public Lands Centennial Fund that competitively awards funds to Federal land management agencies for signature projects and programs.

Commemorating America’s Civil Rights History. The 2016 budget proposes $50 million to restore and highlight key sites across the country that tell the story of the struggle for civil rights. State, local and tribal governments may also apply for grants to document and preserve stories and other sites related to the Civil Rights Movement.

Supporting Native Youth and Education. The Generation Indigenous initiative includes a $1 billion investment in Indian education to support a comprehensive transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education, a  multi-year process that will transform the BIE into an organization that serves as a capacity builder and service provider to support Tribes in educating their youth and deliver a world-class and culturally appropriate education across Indian Country.

Strengthening Tribal Nations. The budget provides increases across federal programs that serve Tribes, including a proposed 12 percent increase for the Bureau of Indian Affairs over the 2015 enacted level. The budget includes a $26 million increase to fully fund Contract Support Costs that tribes incur from managing federal programs, and a legislative proposal to make full Contract Support Costs mandatory in 2017 in support of self-determination.

Building a Clean Energy Infrastructure. To enhance national energy security and create jobs in new industries, the budget invests in renewable energy development programs, providing about $100 million to review and permit renewable energy projects on public lands and offshore waters.

Improving Quality of Life in the Insular Areas. The FY2016 request boosts programs in the insular areas aimed at improving K-12 public school facilities and confronting energy security challenges. The budget includes an increase of $3.9 million to improve health and safety conditions in insular school facilities, and an additional $1.5 million to implement sustainable energy projects identified by the territories.

To see the complete DOI budget request, visit www.doi.gov/budget and/or  http://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2016/highlights/index.cfm.

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