Connecticut Districts and MSAP
MSA is supporting the two Connecticut education agencies LEARN, CREC, and New Haven Public Schools. In late August, these entities were told by the U.S. Department of Education that their three MSAP grant-funded projects would likely be de-certified and all funding would end, unless transgender students were prohibited from participating in all interscholastic athletic events. The U.S. DoE’s communication would force these agencies to violate state law, which requires schools to permit such participation. MSA is working with Members of Congress to seek a reversal of the U.S. DoE’s position.
MSA is a major supporter of the Strength in Diversity Act, which is seeing House Floor action this week. The bill directs the U.S. Department of Education to award grants to educational agencies to develop or implement plans to improve diversity and reduce or eliminate racial or socioeconomic isolation in publicly funded early childhood education programs, public elementary or public secondary schools. MSA teamed up with the National Coalition on School Diversity, which is stewarding this effort.
The Need for Congressional Action
As most MSA members are aware by now, the U.S. Department of Education sent out notices that MSAP award grants are being delayed. The holdup is due to the fact that Congress has not passed funding bills for the new budget year which starts on October 1. While the word on the Hill is that there very likely will be a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open and agencies funded at current levels, there is a likelihood that the CR will fund the government only until December. It is uncertain whether this two-plus month extension would be enough to trigger the release of the MSAP grant awards. The U.S. DoE may seek to wait for a longer CR extension, or a full-year government funding deal, before awarding grants. MSA will keep members posted.