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Description: 2016 State of the Union | Every Student Succeeds Act | News to Note

Public Policy Notes S outhe r n E a r ly C hild hood As s o ci a tio n Election 2016 The Debates During the past few months the dynamics of the Democratic and Republican races for the party nominations have changed significantly. As reported in the October 2015 issue of Public Policy Notes a series of debates were scheduled for both the Republican and Democratic candidates and we ve watched the candidate field dwindle on the Republican side. The Republican debates have selected candidates based upon polling numbers and some candidates that initially appeared in the top tier debate have now been relegated to the undercard debates that occur prior to the more highly touted top tier debate. (The undercard debate is sometimes referred to as the kiddie table .) The Republicans held another debate on Thursday January 14 2016 in North Charleston South Carolina and this debate featured seven candidates Donald Trump Ted Cruz Marco Rubio Ben Carson Jeb Bush Chris Christie and John Kasich. The debate was aired live by Fox News and a video of the top tier debate is available on the Fox News website. media attention has been focused on the Republican candidates the race for the Democratic nomination is beginning to heat up as well. Hillary Clinton who once commanded Candidates Carly Fiori- a significant lead in the na Mike Huckabee and polls is seeing that poRick Santorum particisition narrow as Senapated in the undercard tor Bernie Sanders has debate . For a video that come within a few pollanalyzed the potential ing points. impact of the undercard debate click here. The last Democratic debate was held on Senator December 19th and Rand featured three anPaul nounced candidates who Hillary Clinton was in- Bernie Sanders and vited to Martin O Malley. partici- Click here to watch the pate in video. Another Demthe undercard debate ocratic debate is schedprotested his removal uled for Sunday Janufrom the top tier deary 17th in Charleston bate and instead hosted South Carolina. Click his own event via Perihere for information. scope video livestream from the Twitter offices. Take some time to beThe event was called the come knowledgeable Rand Rally. about the candidate s policy positions. Be an Although most of the informed voter January 2016 Public Policy Notes Inside this issue 2016 State of the Union Every Student Succeeds Act News to Note 2 3 4 Another Republican Drops Out On December 21 2015 Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Click here to view Graham s announcement video. On January 14 2016 Senator Graham endorsed candidate Jeb Bush for the Republican nomination. The State of the Union 2016 ideas to reignite our spirit of innovation. His plan is a path to new jobs new businesses a stronger economy and a safer planet and builds on a number of steps he has taken over the past seven years. His speech was The President laid out a strategy for keeping America safe centered around four main quesand strong without isolating tions ourselves or trying to nationbuild all over the world. We How do we give everyone a live in dangerous times but if fair shot at opportunity and we make the right decisions security in the new economy America will lead the world in the 21st century just like How do we make technology we did in the last one. work for us and not against President Obama called on all us as we solve our biggest of us to overcome our worst challenges impulses reject corrosive attempts to rig the system How do we keep America safe and sideline citizens and to and lead the world without strengthen the bonds that becoming its policeman unite us no matter the political views we hold....the Presi How can we make our politics dent reaffirmed his faith in reflect the best in us and not the politics of hope building the worst on seven years of progress. According to the information posted on the White House web- If you would like to see the full text of the accomplishments and site ideas put forth in the speech President Obama put forward click here. the building blocks of a social compact for the 21st century. South Carolina Governor His plan would lead to a grow- Nikki Haley was chosen to ing economy while upholding provide the Republican response to the President s a basic American belief that Speech. The beginning text everyone who works hard should get a fair shot. And it of her response follows builds on steps we ve already taken over the past seven years. Barack Obama s election as President Obama put forward President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address on January 12 2016. Public Policy Notes president seven years ago broke historic barriers and inspired millions of Americans. As he did when he first ran for office tonight President Obama spoke eloquently about grand things. He is at his best when he does that. Unfortunately the President s record has often fallen far short of his soaring words. As he enters his final year in office many Americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy too weak to raise income levels. We re feeling a crushing national debt a health care plan that has made insurance less affordable and doctors less available and chaotic unrest in many of our cities. Even worse we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since September 11th and this president appears either unwilling or unable to deal with it. Soon the Obama presidency will end and America will have the chance to turn in a new direction. That direction is what I want to talk about tonight. At the outset I ll say this you ve paid attention to what has been happening in Washington and you re not naive. For the full text of her remarks click here. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) S. Bill 1177 the Every Student Succeeds Act was passed in 2015 and signed into law by President Obama on December 10 2015. This bill reauthorizes and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and its later version called the No Child Left Behind Act. The bill addresses issues such as accountability and testing requirements distribution and requirements for grants fiscal accountability requirements and the evaluation of teachers. The bill provides states with increased flexibility and responsibility for developing accountability systems deciding how federally required tests should be weighed selecting additional measures of student and school performance and implementing teacher evaluation systems. It includes grants for providing language instruction educational programs improving lowperforming schools and developing programs for American Indian and Alaska Native students. The bill provides rural school districts with increased flexibility in using federal funding. It also revises the Impact Aid formula. The bill requires school districts to consult stakeholders in planning and implementing programs to improve student Volume 9 Issue 1 safety health well-being and academic achievement. It combines two existing charter school programs into one program that includes grants for high-quality charter schools facilities financing assistance and replication and expansion. The bill provides states with flexibility in meeting maintenance of effort requirements for state and local education funding to supplement federal assistance. The bill prohibits the Department of Education from imposing certain requirements on states or school districts seeking waivers from federal laws. It provides that ESEA dollars may be used to improve early childhood education programs and specifies requirements to ensure that homeless youth have access to all services provided by the states and school districts. Source Bill Summaryhttps bill 114 th-congress senate-bill 1177 Senator Lamar Alexander (RTN) Chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee was the sponsor of the Senate bill and the legislation reflects a rare bi- partisan and bicameral effort. Today we are unleashing a new era of innovation and excellence in student achievement--one that recognizes that the path to higher standards better teaching and real accountability is classroom by classroom community by community and state by state--and not through Washington D.C said Chairman Alexander. We have reversed the trend toward a national school board repealed the federal Common Core mandate and enacted what the Wall Street Journal called the largest devolution of federal control to states in a quarter century. Representative Bobby Scott (DVA) the ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce said The Every Student Succeeds Act .... Today the President signed into law an embodiment of what we can achieve here in Washington a workable compromise that does not force either side to desert its core beliefs. For a copy of the press release that contains these remarks click here. The First Five Years Fund has created a summary of the opportunities for early childhood education that are included in the act. alexan- Page 3 Southern Early Childhood Association 1123 S. University Ste 255 Little Rock AR 72204 Phone 800-305-SECA Fax 501-227-5297 E-mail info How to Use Public Policy Notes If you re interested in advocacy one of the most effective tools that you can have is access to information. This newsletter is provided as a service to locate and share information that we think will be helpful to you in your work at the state level and to keep you updated on what s happening in public policy. You ll find information that Compares your state to other SECA states--how you re doing what issues you have in common what the hot topics are in your states. Brings the national scene to your fingertips and gives you a perspective on how national events might impact you...You ll also receive information about where to find additional information. We hope you ll find it helpful. Children need you to be their voice in your community and state. This monthly newsletter is produced by Glenda Bean SECA Executive Director. SECA strives to provide non-partisan and non-biased information that is of interest to early childhood educators. Sign up at http public-policy public-policy-notes to receive notice of its availability each month. A Voice for Southern Children News to Note Omnibus FY 2016 Appropriations Bill Includes Funding Increases for Early Education The passage of the FY 2016 Appropriations bill that was reported in last month s Public Policy Notes includes the following increases for early education 326 million for CCDBG maintaining a set-aside of 127 million for infants and toddlers. 570 million for Head Start 15 million in IDEA Part B 20 million in IDEA Part The bill also includes 250 million to continue the Preschool Development Grants through the Department of Education and makes improvements in the tax credit structure that currently supports low-income families. Source Big Win for Children & Their Families e-mail 12-16-15 Louisiana Governor Reverses Decision on Medicaid Expansion With the departure of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal the new Democratic Governor of Louisiana Jon Bel Edwards has begun the process of expanding the state s Medicaid program. Governor Jindal had refused the expansion citing the cost to the state and an inappropriate growth of federal spending. On Tuesday January 12th Governor Edwards signed an Executive Order to make the administrative changes necessary to support the expansion. The National Governor s Association Welcomes Scott Pattison Scott Pattison the former Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) has joined NGA as the new Executive Director. He is a graduate of George Washington University and the University of Virginia School of Law.