July 30, 2015

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

Protect Title I Funding

MABE wrote to Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin on July 2, 2015 to voice concerns about the U.S. Senate’s potential action to change the Title I funding formula in a manner which cut funding for Maryland, and to urge support for the ongoing effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). (Link to MABE letter)

The Washington Post reported on July 10 on the pending amendment to title I funding formula, and Senator Barbara Mikulski's strong opposition.

"A forthcoming amendment from Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) would change the formula used to allocate Title I funds, a move that would create big winners and losers among the states.

Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia would gain Title I dollars, which are meant to educate poor children. But that leaves 14 states that would see cuts, including big losers New York (whose districts would lose $310 million), Illinois ($188 million) and Pennsylvania ($120 million).

“Every county in my state will lose money,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), whose state stands to lose about $40 million per year, a 20 percent cut. Mikulski, speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, said she plans to vote in favor of rewriting the No Child Left Behind law — unless it includes the Burr amendment."

Link to Washington Post Article (July 10, 2015)


ESEA Reauthorization

Both the House and the Senate have introduced proposals to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). On April 16, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted unanimously to pass the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177) to update ESEA.

The House passed H. R. 5, the “Student Success Act,” on July 8, 2015 by a vote of 218 to 213.  H.R. 5 includes provisions for local governance that NSBA supports.

The Senate is debating and voting on amendments to S. 1177, the "Every Child Achieves Act." 

In this July 6, 2015 letter to the Senate HELP Committee, NSBA outlines its priorities that will allow school boards throughout the country to have the flexibility they need to successfully address the unique needs of their students and communities. NSBA supports the language in H.R.5 to restore local school board governance in education, but expresses concerns in other areas in this July 2, 2015 letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Take Action Now!

Go to NSBA's Action Center to lobby the Maryland' federal delegation on pending issues. Email Maryland Senators and Representatives and urge them to:

  • Keep ESEA Moving; 
  • Sustain Federal Investments in Public Education; and
  • Reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act in 2015.