The USCCB actively monitors all federal legislation relating to elementary and secondary education. As the Church’s 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 111th Congress:
Budget/Appropriations (NCLB, IDEA, HEA, PERKINS CAREER/TECHNICAL ED):
Support continued or increased funding for all federal programs benefiting public, private, and religious school students and teachers.
Support adequate funding for federal child nutrition programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs.
Support Universal Pre-K initiatives that assist parents to choose among public, private and religious pre-schools.
Environmental Hazards and Safety Issues Affecting School Children:
Support independent studies of environmental and safety hazards and funding to address them including technical assistance and training to school personnel.
Support implementing the 2008 Higher Education Act as it relates to student loans and campus emergency regulations.
Homeland Security/Child Protection/Catastrophic Events:
Support institutional safety and security of children in religious schools in the event of catastrophic events and provide equitable treatment of students, teachers and families.
Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act:
Support implementation of the law and final regulations as they affect parentally placed students in private and religious schools.
Support tax credits for personal/corporate donations, the DC Opportunity Scholarship Fund, and permanent educational tax deductions for expenses, including tuition.
Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act:
Support implementation of the legislation as it affects students, teachers, and parents in private and religious schools.
Reauthorization of Child Care Block Grant Act:
Support the current certificate option with flexible language in standards and licensing to allow private, family, and faith-based groups to offer such services.
Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act:
Support child benefit as the principle for participation in programs and protect full and equitable participation of students and teachers in all covered programs.
Reauthorization of the Telecommunications Act:
Support inclusion in the Universal Service provisions including increased funding, simplification of the E-Rate application process and protections against fraud/abuse.
School Construction and Repair:
Support inclusion of private and religious schools in proposals to help meet health, fire, and safety codes.
Support tax credits and incentives for educational expenses, professional development, and eligibility in other programs.