The USCCB actively monitors all federal legislation relating to elementary and secondary education. As the Churchs representative for Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the United States, the USCCB supports policies that recognize and support the right of parents to be the primary educators of children. It also advocates legislation that assists parents in defraying the costs of choosing the type of schooling most appropriate for their children including education in catholic schools. The USCCB works to ensure that all students, regardless of where they attend school, and their teachers share federal benefits and services equitably. We encourage you to visit the web site of the USCCB department of Education for more information.
Legislative Issues in the 110th Congress:
Support budget and tax legislation that would protect and assist poor and vulnerable families and children.
Support legislation that continues or increases funding for all federal programs benefiting public, private, and religious school students and teachers
Child Nutrition Issues:
Monitor proposals implementing the newly reauthorized legislation as it affects students in private and religious schools.
Early Childhood Issues:
Monitor proposals to provide universal pre-K and Head Start programs and their impact on private and religious schools.
Environmental Hazards and Safety Issues Affecting School Children:
Support legislation that requires independent studies that provide scientifically-based evidence of environmental and safety hazards that might affect both students and staff in public, private, and religious schools; and includes adequate and equitable funding for public, private, and religious schools to address such scientifically-based evidence of environmental hazards and issues of health, fire, and safety, including technical assistance and training to school personnel.
Support legislation that provides funds to cover the cost of providing for CPR and other training, purchasing defibrillators and other health equipment in public, private, and religious schools.
Homeland Security/Child Protection/Catastrophic Events:
Support legislation that protects the institutional safety and security of children to ensure that private and religious schools are included on an equitable basis and prepares for or responds to catastrophic events similar to 9/11, hurricanes, or pandemic diseases and treats public, private and religious school students, teachers and families equitably.
Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act:
Monitor proposals implementing the newly released final regulations as they affect parentally placed students in private and religious schools.
Support legislation to provide tax credits for personal and corporate donations to organizations providing scholarships for children to help pay for various educational expenses; provides an adequately funded student scholarship demonstration project of educational choice, similar to that already existing in the District of Columbia; and makes permanent educational tax deductions, including Coverdell savings accounts.
Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act:
Monitor proposals implementing the legislation as it affects students, teachers, and parents in private and religious schools.
Reauthorization of Child Care Block Grant Act:
Support legislation that retains the current certificate option; includes private, faith-based, and family-based providers and provides sufficiently flexible language relating to standards and licensing to allow private, family, and faith-based groups to offer such services.
Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA):
Support legislation that increases loan forgiveness for teachers in public, private, and religious schools; provides for services to increase teacher quality and professional development for teachers in public, private, and religious schools; provides access to private and religious school students to participate in any merit based student federal financial; and provides for participation of private and religious school students in the Community College Access Grants and the Presidential Math and Science Scholars Fund.
Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act:
Support legislation that retains the child benefit theory as the basic operating principle for participation in programs; retains language to protect the full and equitable participation of eligible students and their teachers in private and religious schools in all covered programs; provides for the participation of private and religious school students and teachers in any newly proposed federal education program; strengthens consultation requirements between the LEA, SEA, and private and religious school representatives; funds these programs.
Reauthorization of the Telecommunications Act:
Support legislation that insures continued inclusion of private and religious schools in the Universal Service provisions; maintains the proper level of funding; simplifies the E-Rate application process ; and provides for adequate protections against waste, fraud, and abuse.
School Construction and Repair:
Monitor proposals to insure private and religious schools are included in proposals to help meet health, fire, and safety codes; provide for technology assistance, serve children with special needs; and to provide low interest loans to recipients.
Support legislation that assists teachers in public, private and religious schools that provides tax credits to cover educational expenses; provides for programs of professional development; provides tax incentives to teachers who purchase homes in Title I areas; and provides that teachers will be eligible to participate in programs such as the Teacher Incentive Fund, the Advanced Placement and the Mathematics and Science Partnership Programs of NCLB, the Striving Readers Initiative, the National Teacher of the Year, and the Adjunct Teacher Corps.