May Public Policy Updates

Public Policy and Political Action on Behalf of Catholic Schools

The Association’s mission statement and the expectations of its members call NCEA to provide leadership in shaping public policies and encouraging political actions that acknowledge and support the important role of Catholic schools in the United States, that affirm and support the rights of all parents to choose Catholic schools for their children, and advocates for the equitable participation of Catholic school students in federal education programs.

Public Policy Updates

Federal Disaster Aid:  The U. S. Department of Education has released information and funding for the Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students portion of the Hurricane Recovery Act

This program will provide payments to eligible LEAs to assist with the cost of educating students who were displaced by a covered disaster or emergency during the 2017-18 school year and who were enrolled in public schools, including charter schools, and non-public schools.

Aid received under this program will provide tuition assistance for displaced students who enrolled in a different school due to the disasters.  Funds can be used, retroactively, only for 2017-2018 school year expenses.

The deadline for submission of State applications for these programs is May 25, 2018.  If you have now, or had in the past few months, students who were displaced by the disasters, contact your LEA immediately to have your eligible students counted – even if they are no longer with you but you can prove they were in your school on specific dates.

Detailed information about this program and the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart) program is available on the NCEA website.  Time is short to apply – don’t miss out!

E-Rate reminder:  As of May, 2018 the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) has transferred the E-rate funds from a private bank into the U.S. Treasury.  At a recent meeting with FCC officials to discuss the implications of this action, they assured the private school representatives that USAC will remain the independent administrator and the program structure will not change.  However, the question remains as to whether or not the FCC’s actions will make E-rate a federal program and schools who receive discounts recipients of federal funds.

Without greater clarity school applicants would do well to insulate themselves as much as possible by not using Form 472, the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) method of payment, which would provide the schools with a check from the U.S. Treasury. Instead, schools should use Form 474, the Service Provider Invoice Form (SPI) and insist that the vendor claim the discounted portion from USAC directly.

Annual Financial Report:  Every school should have received an e-mail from CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) regarding the annual financial survey conducted for NCEA.  We ask that all schools participate so we may obtain a robust data set with high quality information and resources to share with all of our schools and dioceses to assist with their planning.   PLEASE complete the survey by May 12. 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Sr. Dale McDonald.