In March, CCSESA led a group of county superintendents to Washington D.C. for our first federal advocacy trip of 2019. County superintendents met with both California Senators, House leadership, members of the Education, Budget, and Appropriations Committees, as well as with the Assistant Secretary of Special Education and the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Topics of discussion focused on:
- Headstart (seeking a waiver to adjust the poverty rate to ensure more of CA’s needy families can access Headstart programs);
- IDEA funding (asking for increased federal investment to meet the original federal commitment and to reverse encroachment into state and local budgets);
- Annual appropriations (urging Congress to raise the spending caps for FY20 and to ensure FY19 levels are the staring point of negotiations);
- School Based Medicaid (urging Congress to support legislation that would require the Center for Medicaid Services to revise existing guidance to reduce the paperwork and administrative burden schools face when pursuing reimbursement);
- Secure Rural Schools/Forest Counties (urging Congress to provide funding for FY19 and FY20, as well as look forward toward a longer-term solution that would create a self-sustaining trust to fund the program in perpetuity outside of the annual appropriations process); and
- Emergency Disaster Dollars (urging members of the CA delegation to sign a letter requesting two flexibilities related to already-awarded federal emergency dollars, to allow CA to spend the dollars with an extended timeline, using them for both FY17 and FY18 fires).
Overall, the group totaled 23 meetings and was able to make contact in offices where we built new relationships, and in other offices where we were meeting with familiar faces. CCSESA members were joined by CCSESA Director of Intergovernmental & Legal Affairs Amanda M. Dickey, Esq., and School Superintendents Association Noelle Ellerson Ng.
These asks are still relevant, and the group had great leave-behind materials that can be made available. We encourage all CCSESA members to make sure their own representatives are aware of these asks. Feel free to share this information (let us know if you need contact information). CCSESA will return for the annual fall legislative trip in September and October.