April Public Policy Updates

The following article was contributed by Sr. Dale McDonald, PVBM, PhD., NCEA Director of Public Policy.

Here are some important reminders for upcoming deadlines and updates that can impact your school.

Parental Choice Initiatives: 

Although President Trump’s plan for advancing parental choice of schooling is the subject of much discussion among educational organizations and political think tanks, there is no actual plan or proposal of how that will be accomplished.  While the campaign and the inaugural address mentioned $20 billion for choice, the actual budget proposal requested $240 million. Given the political climate in Congress, there is no expectation that anything will be accomplished in the near term.

The NCEA Public Policy Director and other private school representatives in the Washington, DC area are participating in many events and are working to assure that whatever plan is proposed does not compromise the integrity and autonomy of their schools’ mission.

Title II-A Professional Development funding:

The President’s “skinny budget” calls for massive cuts (13.5%) to the U.S. Department of Education, and proposes to eliminate all funding for Title II-A that supports professional development activities.  Most of the “intelligence gathering” on Capitol Hill indicates that the title will not be totally zeroed out, but will likely take a big cut.  Still, with the new funding formula most Catholic schools will still see an increase in their funding if the new law and guidance are followed as written.

The consultation process for 2017-2018 should be underway.  Much has changed under the new law so be sure to familiarize yourself with the parts of the law that pertain to equitable services for private school students and teachers and bring the documents with you to the consultation meetings. Copies of the documentation can be found on the NCEA’s public policy website

Finance Survey

This week each school should have received an e-mail invitation to participate in the annual financial survey that is conducted for NCEA by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).  Please take the time to complete this very important survey so that we have high quality information and resources that are helpful in strategic planning for operational vitality for all schools.  Schools that complete the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the results.