The following message was sent by the National School Boards Association to state associations. Local school board members are encouraged to contact their Congressional representatives, to urge passage of the federal budget.

As constituents and school board members, we urge you to support swift passage of a final appropriations measure for the remainder of FY 2017 that will maximize Pre K-12 education investments for our nation’s 50 million public school students. The time is now to pass a bipartisan measure for FY 2018 that will help our public schools fulfill the goals of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and advance educational opportunities vital to student achievement by prioritizing funding for the following:

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for our nation’s more than six million students with special needs.
  • Title I grants for disadvantaged students, which help advance the range of choices that public school districts offer to 90 percent of our nation’s students, such as magnet schools, specialized curricula for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), public military academies and international focus schools.
  • Impact Aid (Section 8002) federal properties payments. The Administration’s FY 2018 budget request would eliminate this $66.8 million line item that provides funding to more than 200 school districts in 29 states.
  • Title II ESSA on “Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principals, or Other School Leaders.” Title II investments cover professional development, in-service training, technology integration into curricula, training on data usage to improve student achievement and student data privacy, implementation of performance-based compensation systems, parental/community engagement, development of STEM master teacher corps, civics, and more.

Furthermore, we urge you to support measures to avoid the across-the-board cuts or sequestration to education and other programs that support student achievement and prepare all students to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

For contact information for New Jersey’s U.S. Senators and Congressional representatives, go to the “Resources for Advocacy” page of NJSBA’s website.