June 2019

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NUESTRA INICIATIVA

June 2019 Issue


“This administration has been very supportive of … the multiple pathways to a successful adult life and career. And, I think that we do need to examine where the resources are going from the federal level and what messages we are sending … about what we value. We should be valuing a lot more types of opportunities than we have sent signals for in the last several decades. Certainly, a four-year college and university is a good answer for a lot of young people. But, for [others], it might not be the answer today. It might be for them five to 10 years from now. We really need to … embrace learning as a lifelong pursuit — not one that is episodic and … would check off the box by the time we are 21 or 22, or a few years older with a graduate degree.”

 — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, during an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Lauren Weber at the CFO Network Annual Meeting


Secretary DeVos Advances Higher Education Reform

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the publication of proposed regulations to rethink higher education. Developed by consensus from a diverse negotiated rulemaking committee, these regulations seek to reduce the unnecessary regulatory burden associated with accreditor oversight of the nation’s higher education institutions and to streamline state authorization for distance or correspondence education. The goals of these reforms are to promote innovation and protect students while ensuring they have access to the higher education options that best meet their needs. The proposed rules are open for public comment until July 12.


Department's Disaster Recovery Unit

Testifying before the House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan announced the creation of the Department’s Disaster Recovery Unit (DRU). The new team has a director and three staff devoted full-time to managing the agency’s disaster response efforts. The DRU supports the development of in-house expertise to effectively and efficiently leverage other resources, both within the Department and in partnership with other federal agencies and technical assistance providers.

A day later, President Trump signed into law the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019, providing additional Fiscal Year 2019 emergency supplemental funding for natural disaster relief and recovery efforts. This legislation allocates a total of $19.1 billion to help Americans after the hurricanes, wildfires, and floods that struck the nation in the past three years. That amount includes $165 million for the Education Department to meet the needs of students in those areas impacted by disasters.


Secretary DeVos Highlights Texas’ Efforts for More Workforce Training

NASA DeVos

Secretary DeVos traveled to the Houston area to see how education leaders and employers are narrowing the skills gap between workers and in-demand jobs. She toured S&B Engineers and Constructors’ Craft Education and Skills Enhancement Center and met with students and graduates of S&B’s 17-week, earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program. This program trains veterans to become welders and pipefitters to fill high-demand, high-skilled industrial construction jobs across the greater Houston area.


2019 Green Ribbon Schools Announced

Green Ribbon School

The U.S. Department of Education released the names of the 2019 U.S. Department of Education (Department) Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardees and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country, 35 schools, 14 districts, and four postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to address the three "pillars" of the program: reducing environmental impact and utility costs, improving health and wellness, and ensuring effective sustainability education. Read more about the schools and their efforts


President's Education Awards Program

Since 1983, the President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) has bestowed individual recognition from the president to students whose outstanding efforts have enabled them to meet challenging standards of excellence. This year, nearly 2.25 million elementary, middle, and high school students, from more than 25,000 schools, were recognized under PEAP.

School principals determine the number of qualifying students based on selection criteria and verify orders for awards. Students receive a certificate and congratulatory letter signed by the president and the secretary of education.


Department's Early Learning Grant Opportunities

The Department recently released two funding opportunities to train and prepare personnel in early intervention, special education, and related services:

More information, including applications, can be found here. The deadline to apply for both is July 8.


Office of Safe and Supportive Schools Funding Opportunties

The Department’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools has issued the following grant opportunities:

  • The Project Prevent grant program provides grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to increase their capacity to help schools in communities with pervasive violence to better address the needs of affected students and to break the cycle of violence in those communities. The application deadline is July 15, 2019.

Contact: Project.Prevent@ed.gov

Contact LEA.SCTG19@ed.gov

In addition, the Department is seeking qualified peer reviewers who have expertise and experience in issues related to school climate, school safety, multi-tiered systems of support or frameworks, school turnaround, school administration, violence prevention, children and trauma, conflict resolution, mental health, post-traumatic stress, grant administration and implementation, program evaluation, curriculum design and implementation, and rural education programs.

Interested reviewers should

  1. make sure they have an active, updated account in G5. Be sure to update their resume and make sure their email address is accurate.
  2. indicate their interest by emailing a current resume to Project.Prevent@ed.gov or LEA.SCTG19@ed.gov.

New Funding to Support Women in Apprenticeship, Expand Job Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Labor's Women’s Bureau announced the availability of $1.5 million in grant funding available to help women pursue apprenticeship programs and careers in manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and health care, among other industries. The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program will award $1.5 million to community-based organizations to encourage women's employment in apprenticeship and nontraditional occupations. Grants will be awarded to up to six community-based organizations. Grant applications are due on July 8, 2019.


Communities Talk Planning Stipend

Do you know of a college or university looking for support to prevent underage and high-risk drinking? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing a limited number of $750 planning stipends to host 2019 Communities Talk town hall meetings on the topic.  Those interested should apply for an invitation as soon as possible.  Events must take place before the end of the year.  To request an invitation, please send an email (Subject: Communities Talk invitation request) to info@stopalcoholabuse.net, and provide your contact name, affiliation, and email address.


Federal Agencies Internship Opportunity Bank

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics has released its Federal Agencies Internship Opportunity Bank. This opportunity bank lists internship opportunities from federal agencies across the country. If you are interested in interning for the federal government, this opportunity bank is a good starting point to see what each federal agency offers.


HSIs Grant Opportunities

The Department has released two funding opportunities for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

More information on HSIs grant programs can be found here.


Student Voices

This summer, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics is sharing students' experiences in their first year in college. Their stories can be found here. Each week, a new story will be posted.


Stopping the Summer Slide

Back-to-back Homeroom blog posts offer tips to stem the “summer slide,” the decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school is not in session. 


Latina Astronaut School Visit

Latina Astronaut

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor visited Excel Academy, Washington, D.C.’s public all-girls school, to lead a discussion with students about her mission on the Space Station and how girls can get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Check out her message on the importance of getting young girls involved in STEM.


The Condition of Education 2019

Condition of Education

On May 22, the National Center for Education Statistics released The Condition of Education 2019, a congressionally mandated report to the country on education in America today.  The report presents 48 indicators under four areas: pre-primary, elementary, and secondary education; postsecondary education; population characteristics and economic outcomes; and international comparisons.

For a snapshot of key information, check out the “At a Glance” and “Highlights” links.


Best Practices for Financial Literacy

On June 14, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report on behalf of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC).  The report, Best Practices for Financial Literacy and Education at Institutions of Higher Education, provides recommendations for higher education institutions to deliver effective financial literacy education and resources to help students make informed decisions and avoid pitfalls associated with financing education. Read more.


HHS Grant Opportunity

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the following grant opportunity:

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Program: Independent Living Transition Services for Youth and Young Adults with Significant Disabilities from Minority Backgrounds

The deadline to apply is Aug. 19.


Visit ED

The Department's Youth Engagement Team maintains an online registration portal to provide students and youth-serving institutions an opportunity to request a meeting with Department staff. Students are the stakeholders most affected by the Department’s programs and services, and policies and practices.  It is our goal to help ensure that our staff are effectively collaborating with student stakeholders to improve the development and implementation of our programs and policies.


Call for Fall 2019 Intern Applicants

Are you interested in learning more about education policies affecting Hispanics? The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics is now accepting applications for its Fall 2019 internship program. Information on how to apply can be found here. The deadline is Friday, July 19.