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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

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A group of mask opponents speak outside during a Broward County School Board meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week.
Carline Jean/AP
States States Pressured to Rethink Bans on School Mask Mandates as COVID Delta Variant Surges
Masks are a key tool for COVID-19 prevention, but many states have banned schools from requiring them. Some are rethinking those policies.
Evie Blad, August 3, 2021
7 min read
Image of a student holding a mask and a backpack near the entrance of a classroom.
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Federal As New COVID Concerns Emerge, Biden Administration Keeps Focus on School Reopenings
Amid new COVID-19 concerns, the Biden administration kept its focus on in-person learning, stressing the need for safety precautions.
Evie Blad, August 2, 2021
2 min read
President Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus on June 2.
Evan Vucci/AP
Federal Biden Calls on Schools to Host COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for Kids 12 and Up
The president is focusing on vaccinating children ages 12 and older as concerns grow about the Delta variant and its impact on schools.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 29, 2021
2 min read
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Pratya Vuttapanit/iStock/Getty
Education Funding School Infrastructure Funding in Flux as Senators Advance Package Funding Electric Buses
Groups are warning school infrastructure could get shortchanged as Democrats negotiate a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget deal.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 29, 2021
5 min read
Image of the Capitol.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding The Fight Over Charter School Funding in Washington, Explained
Tensions between some Democrats in Congress and charter school backers have reached a new level over proposed restrictions on federal aid.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 28, 2021
6 min read
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., is seen at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 9, 2021 in Washington.
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., is seen at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 9, 2021 in Washington.<br/>
Graeme Sloan/SIPA USA via AP
Federal How Political Backlash to Critical Race Theory Reached School Reopening Guidance
A lawmaker wants Miguel Cardona to repudiate the Abolitionist Teaching Network after federal COVID-19 documents referenced the group's work.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 23, 2021
6 min read
Illustration of students in virus environment facing wave of test sheets.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (Images: iStock/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty)
Assessment Standardized Tests Could Be in Jeopardy in Wake of Biden Decisions, Experts Say
Has the Biden administration shored up statewide tests this year only to risk undermining long-term public backing for them?
Andrew Ujifusa, July 21, 2021
6 min read
Symbols of gender.
iStock/Getty
Federal Biden Team: Schools Can Go Beyond Trump Rules in Response to Alleged Sexual Misconduct
The Education Department's guidance, released July 20, states that Title IX rules from 2020 lay out "minimum steps" for educators.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 20, 2021
3 min read
Education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington.
Education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington.
Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP
Federal Fact Check: After Furor Over 1619 Project, Feds Adjust History and Civics Grant Plans
A previously obscure history and civics program has weathered a political storm, but what exactly has changed?
Andrew Ujifusa, July 19, 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
Collage of Capitol dome and school
Getty
Education Funding What the House Education Spending Bill Would Do for Schools, in One Chart
House lawmakers have advanced a funding bill for next year with big increases for several education programs, but it's far from a done deal.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 15, 2021
3 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the education secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Senators Grill Civil Rights Nominee on Transgender Students, Sexual Assault Investigations
If confirmed as assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine Lhamon will handle some of the Education Department's most sensitive issues.
Evie Blad, July 13, 2021
6 min read
Drawing of money dropping into a jar.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding House Democrats Pitch 'Massive Funding Increase' in Latest Education Spending Bill
The proposal would more than double aid to Title I programs for low-income students and aims to help schools address fallout from COVID-19.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 11, 2021
4 min read
A person walks through a crowd with a large pink and blue transgender pride flag.
A transgender-rights supporter at the Gay Pride Festival in Atlanta in 2019.
Robin Rayne/AP
Federal Biden Is Wrong About Transgender Student Rights, Group of Republican AGs Says
Gender identity is not covered by Title IX, attorneys general said in a letter that challenged the Biden administration's position.
Evie Blad, July 9, 2021
3 min read