June Government Relations Update

FY13 Education Budget and STEM Funding On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the FY13 education budget. (As of this writing, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies had yet to finish its version of the bill). Under the Senate version, the Department of Education would receive $68.52 billion, slightly above the 2012 budget, including $150 million in funding for the Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership. The Appropriations Committee restored $51 million in funding for the STEM program from cuts proposed by the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The restoration came after dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals made clear their support for the Math and Science Partnership program.  For more information on STEM funding, visit the STEM Education Coalition Web site.

Teacher Incentive Fund The Department of Education has announced details for the final applications for its 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) competition, due July 27.  DoE plans to award approximately 30 grants totaling $285 million (ranging individually from $500,000 to $12 million) to innovative teacher evaluation systems. The funds are intended to support “district-wide evaluation systems that reward success, offer greater professional opportunities, and drive decision-making on recruitment, development, and retention of effective teachers and principals.” Additionally, there is a separate competition focused on STEM instruction. School districts can apply individually, or in partnership with other districts, states and non-profit organizations.  Visit the DoE’s Web site for further information on funding and the application process.

Your Ticket to the 2012 Elections With the nominees now set and national conventions coming in a few months, the 2012 election season continues to heat up. Arc’s Rita Ferrandino, who will be attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa and will be a delegate on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, is sharing all the excitement of a swing district in a swing state as national figures drop by and new issues take the forefront. Visit her blog, RitaFerrandino.com, for her thoughts on what it all means for Election Day, with a special focus on how education policy is being impacted.

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