|Tuesday, September 15, 2020|
H.R. 2639 – Strength in Diversity Act of 2020 (Rep. Fudge – Education and Labor)
The bill authorizes federal funding for planning and implementation grants to support new and existing efforts to increase racial and socioeconomic diversity in our nation’s schools.
The Rule provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and Labor.
The Rule makes in order the following amendments and allows for amendments to be offered en bloc:
Adds new criteria for evaluating grant applications, factoring in the impact of the likelihood the grant will lead to a meaningful reduction in racial and economic isolation for children in schools. The amendment also prioritizes entities that coordinate with local housing agencies to integrate schools that serve a disproportionately low number of low-income students.
Allen (GA) Amendment
Strikes the integration grant program authorized by the bill and makes activities authorized allowable under Title IV-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the only source of federal funding for student health and safety, including mental health support.
Brown Amendment #3
Allows eligible entities to use grant funds to recruit, hire, and train school counselors.
Brown Amendment #4
Includes, in the annual report, a description of how eligible entities will continue to make improvements toward increasing diversity and decreasing racial or socioeconomic isolation in covered schools and sustain inclusion.
Gives school districts that had previously submitted an application under the Obama-era program before it was terminated priority to reapply to this new program.
Ensures that State Education Agencies have procedures in place to assess and prevent the redrawing of school district lines in a manner that increases racial or socioeconomic isolation.
Modifies the application section to require information on how eligible entities propose to use grant funds to support interventions to increase student diversity. Additionally, in the case of the consortium agencies, an eligible entity will be required to establish the lead applicant and how grant funds will be divided among school districts to address racial and socioeconomic segregation in schools.
Recommends replacing entrance exams and competitive application procedures with other methods to promote racial and socioeconomic diversity.
Moulton Amendment #9
Expands the allowable uses of implementation grants to include creating or improving a onestop enrollment process for students with multiple public school options, including making school information and data more accessible and easier to understand.
Moulton Amendment #10
Adds access to mental health resources and social-emotional learning as a performance measure for the grant program. Students attending racially isolated, high-poverty schools have less access to resources, and school integration will help foster equitable access to resources.
Ensures that planning grants to address racial and socioeconomic isolation in schools can be used to increase teacher diversity.
Includes a requirement that an eligible entity that receives a grant must include in its annual report information on the progress of regional programs on reducing racial and socioeconomic isolation in covered schools.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: