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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.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 16, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 16.
Michael Brochstein/SIPA USA via AP
Equity & Diversity Shout of 'Racist' Marks Tense Exchange Between Miguel Cardona, GOP on Critical Race Theory
The education secretary told congressional Republicans his department isn't requiring schools to use a curriculum based on the 1619 Project.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 24, 2021
5 min read
Image of a student taking a test with a mask on.
Rich Vintage/E+
Accountability The Feds Offered Waivers on ESSA Accountability. Here's Where States Stand on Getting Them
While they get less attention than testing waivers, flexibility related to low-performing schools is an important federal and state issue.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 24, 2021
5 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 at the White House earlier this month.
Evan Vucci/AP
Education Funding Federal Rules in the Pipeline on COVID-19 Relief, Testing, Student Privacy
The Biden administration plans to issues rules governing coronavirus relief for homeless students and for private schools.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 22, 2021
4 min read
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., on March 11, 2021, to protest a proposed ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues.
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., to protest a ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues, one of dozens of measures considered in state legislatures this year.
Stephen Groves/AP
Law & Courts Let Transgender Student Play on Girls' Team, Feds Say, Supporting Her Suit Over a State Law
A West Virginia law barring transgender girls from girls' sports teams violates Title IX and U.S. Constitution, the Justice Department says.
Evie Blad, June 17, 2021
3 min read
Demonstrators gather on the step of the Montana State Capitol on March 15, 2021 protesting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Helena, Mont. The Montana Senate Judiciary Committee voted March 18 to advance two bills targeting transgender youth despite overwhelming testimony opposing the measures. The measures would ban gender affirming surgeries for transgender minors and ban transgender athletes from participating in school and college sports. Both bills have already passed the Montana House. They head next to votes by the GOP-controlled Montana Senate.
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Montana State Capitol in March to protest bills on transgender students' ability to play on single-sex sports teams.
Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP
Federal LGBTQ Students Are Protected by Federal Anti-Discrimination Law, Education Dept. Says
Schools violate Title IX when they discriminate against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the agency said Wednesday.
Evie Blad, June 16, 2021
4 min read
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill.
Evelyn Hockstein/AP
Federal Republicans Want Federal Funding Cuts to Schools Using '1619 Project'—But There's a Twist
A bill from U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, Mitch McConnell, and others targets schools using lessons based on the New York Times Magazine series.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 15, 2021
4 min read
Illustration of money floating in a life preserver.
ISerg/iStock/Getty
Education Funding To Get Billions in COVID-19 Aid, States Pledge Focus on Mental Health, Learning Recovery
Twenty-eight states had submitted plans to the Education Department as of mid-June to access $41 billion from the American Rescue Plan.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 14, 2021
4 min read
Image shows an illustration of money providing relief against coronavirus.
DigitalVision Vectors/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Some in Congress Fear State Budget Decisions May Undercut COVID-19 Education Relief
A dispute in Wisconsin over coronavirus relief underscores how technical issues and politics are affecting education spending decisions.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 11, 2021
4 min read
President Joe Biden talks about the May jobs report from the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Friday, June 4, 2021.
President Joe Biden made boosting Title I for disadvantaged students a key part of his education platform on the campaign trail.
Susan Walsh/AP
Education Funding There Are Big Funding Gaps Affecting High-Poverty Schools. Can Biden Close Them?
Hurdles lie ahead for a $20 billion bid to create "Title I equity grants" to address long-standing funding inequities.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 9, 2021
9 min read
Image of a $100 dollar bill that is cut into blocks for distribution.
E+/Getty
Education Funding Education Department Issues Directive on Shielding Students in Poverty From Funding Cuts
The agency released the "maintenance of equity" guidance on COVID-19 relief as part of a public-relations blitz on equity amid the pandemic.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 9, 2021
5 min read
Mary Euell helps her sons, Michael Henry, left, and Mario Henry, work through math lessons remotely in their Erie, Pa., home.
Mary Euell helps her sons, Michael Henry, left, and Mario Henry, work through math lessons remotely in their Erie, Pa., home.
Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP
Education Funding New COVID-19 Aid Coalition Highlights Strategies for Retaining Teachers, Digital Learning
The coalition representing school officials, teachers' unions, and others, has pledged a multiyear effort to use relief aid effectively.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 8, 2021
2 min read
Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
High school students rally at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 21 in support of those affected at the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
States Let School Officials Seek Gun Limits for Potentially Violent Students, Feds Suggest
A model state "red flag" bill would let school officials ask courts to halt students' access to guns if they are deemed a risk.
Evie Blad, June 7, 2021
4 min read
Image of gender symbols drawn in chalk.
joxxxxjo/iStock/Getty
Federal What's at Stake in a Review of Federal Sex Discrimination Protections for Students
The Biden administration's review of Title IX may prompt new guidance on how schools deal with sexual harassment and protect LGBTQ students.
Evie Blad, June 4, 2021
10 min read
Image of diverse hands in a team huddle.
melitas/iStock/Getty
Equity & Diversity Could School Resegregation Drive White Students to Become Democrats as Adults?
A researcher tracked the political affiliation of adults who graduated from high schools where court-ordered desegregation was lifted.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 4, 2021
6 min read