From the Federal Register

Secretary’s Proposed Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs

This document has a comment period that ends in 32 days. (11/13/2017)

In order to support and strengthen the work that educators do every day in collaboration with parents, advocates, and community members, the Secretary proposes 11 priorities and related definitions for use in discretionary grant programs that are in place today or may exist in the future.

The Department believes that more Federal programs are not a sufficient proxy for progress and that increased Federal funding cannot be a stand-in for increased learning. We will focus less on discrete funding streams and more on innovative problem solving. This can only happen when everyone gets a seat at the table and can focus on high-priority local projects that promote change from the ground up. We will place a renewed focus on our core mission: serving the most vulnerable students, ensuring equal access for all students, protecting their path to a world-class education, and empowering local educators to deliver for our students.

Proposed Priority 1—Empowering Families to Choose a High-Quality Education that Meets Their Child’s Unique Needs.

Proposed Priority 2—Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining Education with an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes, and Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers.

Proposed Priority 3—Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills.

Proposed Priority 4—Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills that Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens.

Proposed Priority 5—Meeting the Unique Needs of Students and Children, including those with Disabilities and/or with Unique Gifts and Talents

Proposed Priority 6—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science.

Proposed Priority 7—Promoting Literacy.

Proposed Priority 8—Promoting Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.

Proposed Priority 9—Promoting Economic Opportunity.

Proposed Priority 10—Encouraging Improved School Climate and Safer and More Respectful Interactions in a Positive and Safe Educational Environment.

Proposed Priority 11—Ensuring that Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families Have Access to High-Quality Educational Choices.

The bottom line is decreased federal funding for education in America.

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From The Federal Register

Reopening; Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Early Childhood Personnel Center

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

On April 19, 2017, we published in the Federal Register (82 FR 18447) a notice inviting applications (NIA) for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Early Childhood Personnel Center competition. The NIA established a deadline date of June 5, 2017, for the transmittal of applications. This notice reopens the competition until September 11, 2017.

No applications received in response to the NIA were funded because the applicants did not adequately address the selection criteria for the competition.

[Which states: Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $2,000,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 1.]

Therefore, we are reopening the competition to allow applicants to submit or resubmit applications that meet the requirements in the NIA, in order to ensure that State Part C and Part B, section 619 programs receive the technical assistance necessary to implement high-quality Comprehensive Systems of Personnel Development.


We have eliminated the formatting and page-limit requirements specified in the NIA. Further, the specification in the NIA that the Secretary will not consider budgets above the maximum award amount is no longer applicable. However, we will only fund a successful application up to $2,000,000 for any single budget period of 12 months.

With only one grant being given, applicants should be able to adjust their proposals to meet the requirements outlined.

If budgets of more than $2 million dollars are being considered, will the applicants seek other federal grants to support their extended budget?

With eligible applicants being charter schools and nonprofit agencies is this a way for our government to use valuable tax dollars to promote the declination of public schooling?

Accountability for educational funding is imperative!

Spending $2 million dollars on one program assists a small number of children. Wouldn’t that money be better served by aiding public school programs that already exist to actually improve the services and results for all children?

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From The Federal Register

Applications for New Awards; Promise Neighborhoods Program

Purpose of Program
The Promise Neighborhoods program is newly authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program is to significantly improve the academic and developmental outcomes of children living in the most distressed communities of the United States, including ensuring school readiness, high school graduation, and access to a community-based continuum of high-quality services. The program serves neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income individuals; multiple signs of distress, which may include high rates of poverty, childhood obesity, academic failure, and juvenile delinquency, adjudication, or incarceration; and schools implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d) of the ESEA. All strategies in the continuum of solutions must be accessible to children with disabilities and English learners.

The Department of Education’s expectation is that over time, a greater proportion of the neighborhood residents receive these supports and that neighborhood indicators show significant progress. For this reason, each Promise Neighborhood applicant must demonstrate several core features: (1) Significant need in the neighborhood; (2) a strategy to build pipeline services (as defined in this notice) with strong schools at the center; and (3) the organizational and relational capacity to achieve results.

Estimated Range of Awards: $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $5,000,000.

Maximum Award: $6,000,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 5-7.

Eligible Applicants: (must) Be one of the following:

(a) An institution of higher education;

(b) An Indian Tribe or Tribal organization; or

(c) One or more nonprofit entities working in formal partnership with not less than one of the following entities:

A high-need LEA, An institution of higher education, The office of a chief elected official of a unit of local government, An Indian Tribe or Tribal organization.

Our federal government is giving 5-7 colleges, Tribal organizations and/or nonprofit entities our valuable tax dollars instead of supporting the excellent education of ALL children in the United States.

We must change our system of education so that every child is given the opportunity to succeed.

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A Rose By Any Other Name

Federal Register:

Rosa’s Law

Rehabilitation Act
Statute: Rosa’s Law amended the Rehabilitation Act by substituting “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in section 7(21)(A)(iii) (29 U.S.C. 705(21)(A)(iii)); substituting “intellectual disabilities” for “mental retardation” in section 204(b)(2)(C)(vi) (29 U.S.C. 764(b)(2)(C)(vi)); and substituting “President’s Disability Employment Partnership Board and the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities” for “President’s Committees on Employment of People With Disabilities and on Mental Retardation” in section 501(a) (29 U.S.C. 791(a)).

Regulations: We have substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” and “having an intellectual disability” for “mentally retarded” in the following definitions:

Term Section within title 34, CFR
“handicapped person” § 104.3(j)(2)(i).
“individual with a severe disability” § 385.4.
“individual with a significant disability” §§ 361.5 and 373.4.
“individual with handicaps” § 105.3.
“physical or mental impairment” § 361.5.

We have also substituted “intellectual disability” for “mental retardation” in Appendix A to part 104.

Reasons: We have made these regulatory revisions to implement the changes made to the Rehabilitation Act by Rosa’s Law

*The sentences should read “substituting “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability”.

Rosa’s Law is a United States law which replaces several instances of “mental retardation” in law with “intellectual disability”. The bill was introduced as S.2781 in the United States Senate on November 17, 2009, by Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). It passed the Senate unanimously on August 5, 2010, then the House of Representatives on September 22, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 5. The law is named for Rosa Marcellino, a girl with Down Syndrome who was nine years old when it became law, and who, according to President Barack Obama, “worked with her parents and her siblings to have the words ‘mentally retarded’ officially removed from the health and education code in her home state of Maryland.” – Wikipedia

While “Rosa’s Law” is extremely important to the changing the language of the law it does not change the negative attitude we harbor towards individuals who live outside the artificial norm that exists in our society.

When we see every child as gifted and talented it will no longer be necessary to label our children in order for them to receive the excellent education they deserve.

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More Money For Mis-Education

From the Federal Register:

Applications for New Awards; American History and Civics Education-National Activities Grants

Purpose of Program: The American History and Civics Education—National Activities Grants Program promotes innovative instruction, learning strategies, and professional development in American history, civics and government, and geography, with an emphasis on activities and programs that benefit low-income students and underserved populations.

This competition provides funding to support the development, implementation, expansion, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based instructional approaches and professional development activities and programs in American history, civics and government, and geography in elementary and secondary schools. This competition includes an absolute priority for projects serving high-need students to help these students improve learning outcomes for these students. This competition includes an absolute priority for projects that show potential to improve student achievement in, and teaching of, these subjects, and that demonstrate innovation, scalability, accountability, and a focus on underserved populations. Additionally, we include a competitive preference priority for projects that leverage technology to support professional development and instructional practice, which may lead to increased student engagement and help accelerate learning.

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,700,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $200,000-$700,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $500,000 per year.

Estimated Number of Awards: 2-7

Eligible Applicants: An institution of higher education or other nonprofit or for-profit organization with demonstrated expertise in the development of evidence-based approaches with the potential to improve the quality of American history, civics and government, or geography learning and teaching.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

Could this be another way of funneling educational tax dollars to Pearson since they are loosing money due to the Opt-out movement?

The history of the United States has never been told truthfully, there can be no demonstration of expertise by anyone.

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Moving Forward To Go Back

From the Federal Register:

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act-Accountability and State Plans

“Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has passed, and the President has signed, a resolution of disapproval of the accountability and State plans final regulations that were published on November 29, 2016. Because the resolution of disapproval invalidates these final regulations, the Department of Education (Department) is hereby removing these final regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.

On November 29, 2016, the Department published the accountability and State plans final regulations (81 FR 86076). The regulations were effective on March 21, 2017. On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed into law Congress’ resolution of disapproval of the accountability and State plans final regulations under the Congressional Review Act as Public Law 115-13. Section 801(f) of the Congressional Review Act states that “[a]ny rule that takes effect and later is made of no force or effect by enactment of a joint resolution under section 802 shall be treated as though such rule had never taken effect.” Accordingly, the Department is hereby removing the accountability and State plans final regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations, and ensuring the CFR is returned to the state it would have been if this “rule had never taken effect.”

Dated: June 7, 2017.
Betsy DeVos,
Secretary of Education.

This is a long and involved revocation of the 34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 200 and Part 299 amendments.

A State must define adequate yearly progress, in accordance with §§ 200.14 through 200.20, in a manner that—

. . . Is the same for all public schools and LEAs in the State; and

(7) Consistent with § 200.7, applies the same annual measurable objectives under § 200.18 separately to each of the following:

(ii) Students in each of the following subgroups:

(A) Economically disadvantaged students.

(B) Students from major racial and ethnic groups.

(C) Students with disabilities, as defined in section 9101(5) of the ESEA.

In calculating AYP for schools, LEAs, and the State, a State must, . . . include the scores of all students with disabilities.”

More schools will fail, more charters will open, more tax dollars will be wasted, and more children will be discriminated against.

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Less Is Not More, It Is Less

From the Federal Register:

The number of regulatory changes that will take place in the “Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities and Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities Program; Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities” is staggering.

The notice begins:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

Final regulations.

The Secretary of Education amends the regulations implementing Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These conforming changes are needed to implement statutory amendments made to the IDEA by the Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted on December 10, 2015. These regulations remove and revise IDEA definitions based on changes made to the definitions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the ESSA, and also update several State eligibility requirements to reflect amendments to the IDEA made by the ESSA. They also update relevant cross-references in the IDEA regulations to sections of the ESEA to reflect changes made by the ESSA. These regulations also include several technical corrections to previously published IDEA Part B regulations.

These final regulations are effective June 30, 2017.

You can spend hours going through the regulations and their changes only to find that the Federal government has relaxed its position on Charter schools and their staffing.

Remove the definition of the term “core academic subjects” in § 300.10, the definition of “highly qualified special education teachers” in § 300.18, and the definition of “scientifically based research” in §§ 300.35 and 303.32 because these terms have been removed from the ESEA.”

We are revising the definition of “charter school” in § 300.7 by removing the phrase “section 5210(1)” and replacing it with “section 4310(2).”

This particular revision replaces an explaination of what a charter school should be and how it should operate to one that is neither in-depth or regulatory.

As a nation, we are allowing the expansion of schools that will not be held accountable for educating their students.

We must stop funding a system of education that does not educate our children but enslaves them to the control of poverty and ignorance.

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