Federal Policy

Education news, analysis, and opinion about laws and regulations proposed or enacted by the federal government about education
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Education Funding Schools Can Seek More Time to Spend ESSER Funds on Outside Contracts
Waivers are available for contract spending in key areas like construction, tutoring, and mental health.
Mark Lieberman, May 17, 2022
4 min read
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks at the Cherokee Immersion School on Dec. 3, 2021, in Tahlequah, Okla. The Interior Department is on the verge of releasing a report on its investigation into the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the report will come out next month.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks at the Cherokee Immersion School in December, in Tahlequah, Okla. Her agency's report documents harmful conditions, deaths, and physical punishment for Native American students forced to attend federal boarding schools.
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Equity & Diversity Native American Children Endured Brutal Treatment in U.S. Boarding Schools, Federal Report Shows
Deaths, physical and psychological punishments, and manual labor occurred at the more than 400 federal boarding schools.
Eesha Pendharkar, May 11, 2022
5 min read
President George W. Bush, left, participates in the swearing-in ceremony for the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, center, at the U.S. Dept. of Education on Jan. 31, 2005 in Washington. On the far right holding a bible is her husband Robert Spellings.
President George W. Bush, left, participates in the swearing-in ceremony for the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, center, at the U.S. Dept. of Education on Jan. 31, 2005 in Washington. On the far right holding a bible is her husband Robert Spellings.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Accountability Timeline: How Federal School Accountability Has Waxed and Waned
From its origins in the 1990s to the most-recent tack, see how the federal approach to accountability has shifted.
Stephen Sawchuk, May 11, 2022
4 min read
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Accountability School Accountability Is Restarting After a Two-Year Pause. Here's What That Means
For a moment, the COVID-19 pandemic succeeded in doing what periodic protests about school accountability couldn't: Halting it.
Stephen Sawchuk, May 11, 2022
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, is seen during a White House event on April 27. The following day, he defended the Biden administration's budget proposal on Capitol Hill.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Lawmakers, Education Secretary Clash Over Charter School Rules
Miguel Cardona says the administration wants to ensure charters show wide community interest before securing federal funding.
Mark Lieberman, April 28, 2022
5 min read
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Federal Opinion What If We Treated Public Education Like the Crisis It Is?
A former governor warns that without an overhaul, education's failures will cost the nation dearly.
Bev Perdue, April 22, 2022
5 min read
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Student Well-Being Letter to the Editor Policymakers Must Prioritize SEL
SEL is important both to help students overcome challenges caused by the pandemic and to build resilience in the longterm, says this letter to the editor.
January 18, 2022
1 min read
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Early Childhood Opinion Biden’s 'Build Back Better' Bill Could Decimate the Child-Care Landscape
Many families rely on faith-based child-care centers—but those providers are in peril under the Build Back Better bill's current language.
Rick Hess, December 13, 2021
4 min read
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Federal Opinion How Uncle Sam Writes the Rules for Schools
Former Education Department adviser Michael Brickman explains how negotiated rule making works and why educators should pay close attention.
Rick Hess, December 9, 2021
6 min read
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., says "it's time to give control back to parents, not woke bureaucrats."
Patrick Semansky/AP
Federal 'Parents' Bill of Rights' Underscores Furor Over Curriculum and Transparency in Schools
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley's bill highlights how education issues like critical race theory will likely stay in the national political spotlight.
Andrew Ujifusa, November 16, 2021
7 min read
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Teaching Profession Teachers May See Student Loans Forgiven Under New Ed. Dept. Changes
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, long criticized for its complicated and poorly communicated processes, is getting an overhaul.
Madeline Will, October 6, 2021
4 min read
Illustration of a helping hand with dollar bill bridging economy gap during coronavirus pandemic, assisting business people to overcome financial difficulties.
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Federal Districts Would Have to Show Equity for High-Poverty Schools Under Proposed Biden Rule
The U.S. Department of Education says the move would promote transparency and accountability for schools getting COVID-19 aid.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 5, 2021
4 min read
Attorney General nominee Judge Merrick Garland speaks during an event with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Jan. 7, 2021.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said "threats against public servants ... run counter to our nation's values."
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Justice Department Says FBI Will Address Violent Threats Against School Leaders
The Biden administration's response comes several days after a request by a school boards group for federal intervention.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 4, 2021
4 min read
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a hearing to examine United States Special Operations Command and United States Cyber Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill March 25 in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal 'Stop CRT' Bill, Votes in Congress Add to Political Drama Over Critical Race Theory
Sen. Tom Cotton's legislation and votes about critical race theory in the House underscore the issue's potency in Washington.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 15, 2021
5 min read