Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
March 19, 2018
April 2 - 5 -- NCEA Conference 

Are you registered for the NCEA Conference? If not, this video may just change your mind! 

We know many dioceses have a designated staff in the Catholic Schools Office to watch, advocate or implement federal education programs and grants in your schools. We would like to make sure we know who you are! Please fill out this form for your diocese so we can be in touch.


What a great two days with our FAAC members here in DC! We spent Day 1 discussing issues from school choice to accountability to ERATE to school safety. Then on Day 2 we met with officials from the Department of Education and the White House about the FY19 Budget, school choice proposals and ESSA implementation concerns in the states. That afternoon we met with several congressional offices and finished the day at co-sponsored, USCCB/Congressional School Choice Caucus where we heard from the offices of recently released school choice bills. Here are some of my favorite photos!


School Choice Panel Speakers
FAAC Members outside of Speaker Ryan's Office
FAAC Members outside the Capitol Building
Federal Education Policy
Since my last newsletter there have been SEVEN new bills introduced in Congress that we are watching. Here are some highlights.

School Choice

Two new bills were introduced in the last week. 
  • There are several more that we are watching; here is a one-pager listing them all. 
School Safety

Senator Hatch introduced the STOP Violence Act. There is a companion bill in the House which passed on 3/14/18 and another bill by Senator Lamar Alexander that will focus on mental health, under Title IV of ESSA.

The STOP School Violence Act would: Reauthorize the Bipartisan Secure Our Schools Act: Authorizes the Department of Justice to make $75 million in grants to states for training, technology and equipment, and technical assistance to stop school violence, aimed at the entire youth ecosystem: students, school personnel, and local law enforcement.
  • Offer State-based Grants: Permits grants to fund evidence-based programs and practices to:
    • Train everyone in the school ecosystem - students, school personnel, and local law enforcement - to identify and intervene to stop school violence;
    • Make improvements to school security infrastructure to deter and respond to threats of school violence, including the development and implementation of anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence;
    • Develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams, to preemptively triage threats before tragedy hits; and
    • Facilitate coordination between schools and local law enforcement.
Read more about the STOP Violence Act.

Read Bishop Dewane and Bishop Murry's statement in response to the recent school violence.

Disaster Relief
  • The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed into law by President Trump on February 9, 2018, included significant new funding to support disaster relief.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (Department) will award up to $2.7 billion to assist K-12 schools, school districts and institutions of higher education (IHEs) in meeting the educational needs of students affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires.
  • The eligible states and territories are Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • TODAY, as follow up to her recent letter about these available grants, Secretary Devos released the application for State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to apply for initial funding under the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart) program. 
As always, I look forward to hearing your ideas, suggestions, and experiences from the field. May you have a great last couple weeks of Lent!

All the best,

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