[NCL Members] Policy Update 4/25/18

Jeff Carter jcarter at literacypolicy.org
Wed Apr 25 18:48:01 EDT 2018

Hi everyone — a longish update for you today.

CEF Budget Book Release: Thanks to all of you who got back to me Tuesday with suggestions on a last-minute replacement for the CEF panel tomorrow. I really appreciate everyone’s help. I also got a lot of help from folks in Alabama over the last couple of days — one nice thing about this process was that I got to be introduced to some really great people who work in adult education in Alabama. Also thanks to NCL President Deborah Kennedy and to Gabe Martinez, NCL’s unofficial official photographer, who some of you know is also the Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County — both of whom offered to step in if we couldn’t get someone from Alabama confirmed in time.

I’m pleased that Steve Hannum, Director of Literacy Initiatives at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama, will be our substitute panelist. (See updated flyer attached.) He’ll be great. I’ll be there to introduce the event and do a little plug for NCL and adult ed in the process...
FY 2018 Rescissions: NDD United has released a fact sheet <https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55c4b954e4b0f8108cbd0423/t/5adf6fa01ae6cf1c7fa59f71/1524592547920/ndd-ica-one-pager.pdf> on the rescission process under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). As I think we may have discussed on a recent call, under the ICA, the administration may propose a package of spending rescissions for Congress to consider — in other words, under this law they can propose cuts from the omnibus bill that Congress just passed — and the Administration is apparently working on a package to send to Congress as soon as next week, even though leadership in both chambers have expressed opposition to the idea. It’s really a pretty dumb idea, since the Congress just took such great pains to come together on a spending agreement and no one wants to blow that up, but the administration and some budget hawks in the House feel the need to make this gesture. I don’t think it’s going anywhere — maybe a few token rescissions will be approved — and, moreover, I don’t this is something to remotely worry about from the persecutive of adult ed — I cannot imagine that this is one of the spending items they would propose rescinding. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’d leave most if not all education program alone.

FY 2019. Together with CEF’s Director and Deputy Director, I met with staff in Minority Leader Pelosi’s office on Monday. You’ll be pleased to know that the Minority Leader made adult education a funding priority in her FY 2019 request.

They also said that the Democrats will continue to push the proposals outlined in their “A Better Deal” package, which I, along with everyone else in the country, had completely forgotten about and assumed had been abandoned. But, if you dig it out, there is a lot in there about  infrastructure, expanding apprenticeship and work-based learning programs and creating more partnerships between community colleges, technical schools, and other training programs. So if you haven’t taken a look at this in a while (or ever), it might be worthwhile...

Department of Education Funding Tables: This might be of interest: Department of Education updated its state tables <https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/index.html> showing formula funding for each state (this does not include all the funding that each state gets).  It has actual funding levels for fiscal year (FY) 2017, estimates for FY 2018 under the levels Congress enacted last month, and estimates for FY 2019 under the President’s budget.

Administration: David Urban, one of ACG’s principles (ACG is the firm that we hired to manage CEF) and an advisor to both the Trump campaign and the Trump administration (and occasional CNN commentator) invited some of ACG’s clients to a meeting this week with Trump administration officials, most notably Marc Short, White House Director of Legislative Affairs and Assistant to the President. This was mostly a group of Trump allies — at least perceived allies — from the business and business association community. If you're thinking that it makes no sense for me to be in a meeting like this, listening to Trump officials talk about the accomplishments of the most successful administration ever along with Raytheon and Goldman Sachs execs, you could not be more right —  it doesn’t — but CEF is a large enough client to ACG that I guess they felt they had to invite me. I had a chance to ask a question and later have a private conversation with Short. My question was about what they would recommend in terms of reaching out directly to the White House on issues of concern from groups that are not necessarily in agreement with the President on many issues. The answer is that they are trying to do more outreach through the  Office of Public Liaison, which was called the White House Office of Public Engagement during the Obama administration. I interacted with that office quite a bit in those days — and it was even occasionally useful. Anyway, the purpose of this way-too-long story is to note that the Office of Public Liaison has a permanent director again and it appears they are taking the thing seriously. Who knows. But CEF will probably try to meet with the director, and depending on how how useful that appears to be, maybe NCL could consider doing the same.


Jeff Carter
Cell: (202) 374-4387 | @jeffcrtr

Senior Policy Advisor
National Coalition for Literacy
www.national-coalition-literacy.org <http://www.national-coalition-literacy.org/>
jcarter at literacypolicy.org <mailto:jcarter at literacypolicy.org>
President, Committee for Education Funding

Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility
1111 14th St, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
www.psr.org <http://www.psr.org/> | jcarter at psr.org <mailto:jcarter at psr.org>


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