July 30, 2016

Federal Advocacy Center


MABE's Federal Advocacy Program and Services

MABE's Federal Relations Network (FRN) Committee meets throughout the year to discuss pending issues and coordinate meetings on Capitol Hill. The committee is comprised of board members appointed to represent the association in advocating the positions of MABE and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to Maryland's federal delegation, including our two U.S. Senators and eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, MABE representatives attend the annual NSBA's Advocacy Institute (formerly FRN Conference) in Washington D.C., and participate in the "Day on the Hill" congressional office visits.

MABE encourages all boards of education to participate in MABE's FRN committee and NSBA's Advocacy Institute to engage in advocacy at the federal level. Only through these continuous efforts can we ensure that our federal officials are well informed on the priorities and perspectives of local boards of education and the fiscal and policy issues arising under the myriad federal programs impacting public education.

MABE's Federal Advocacy Center features current MABE and NSBA lobbying activities and resources on priority issues.  

For additional information, contact John Woolums, MABE's Director of Governmental Relations at (410) 841-5414 or jwoolums@mabe.org. 

Federal Highlights

The Every Student Succeeds Act

NEW – MABE Presentation – "From NCLB to ESSA … An Introduction to the Every Student Succeeds Act

The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, represents a comprehensive revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which since 2002 has been known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). MABE and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) agree that ESSA provides a historic opportunity for school boards across the country to help shape how this law will impact their schools, teachers and students. Unlike NCLB, ESSA reduces the specificity of federal requirements while increasing the ability of States and school systems to define how school boards individual schools are held accountable for student achievement. With the passage of this law, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and States are now embarking on the work to implement its provisions.

It is important to note that while ESSA has passed Congress, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) must publish regulations, guidance and program applications that will shape requirements for States, school districts and schools under the law. The law requires USDE to finalize regulations within one year of the passage of ESSA. Under the rulemaking process, a proposed regulation, referred to as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) must be issued. An NPRM is a draft regulation that is open for public comment. In addition to the typical NPRM process, ESSA requires the Department to conduct negotiated rulemaking on a subset of statutory requirements, including standards, assessments and supplement/not supplant requirements. The standards and assessments are those which States are required to adopt under Title I.

ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Update

The ESSA negotiated rulemaking committee completed its third and final session on April 19, 2016, coming to consensus on the assessment (testing) issues but failing to reach agreement on supplement, not supplant (ESSA provisions requiring that federal Title I funds be used in addition to state and local education investments and not as a substitute for such). The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is bound to the agreement on the assessment regulations.

However, because consensus was not reached on supplement, not supplant issues, the Secretary of Education can proceed in publishing those regulations without being bound to the negotiations or the draft regulations discussed during negotiations.

MSDE Resources

NSBA Resources

U.S. Dept. of Education Resources