Friday, March 22, 2019

Federal regulatory dates, deadlines near
on ESSA innovation grants, nutrition, e-rate

Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program grants due
April 2, 2019: Applications are due by that date for the Every Student Succeeds Act's (ESSA) Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program. EIR provides funding to "create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students; and rigorously evaluate such innovations." Information on "Early-phase" grants is available here, "Mid-phase" grant information is available here, and "Expansion" grants are available here

Nutrition director hiring standards changed
April 30, 2019: A final rule will take effect on that date that "adds four flexibilities to the hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors” in small local school districts.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the new final rule to make this change on March 1, 2019.

E-rate special construction deadline extended
May 28, 2019: A deadline for implementation has been extended to that date by the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau, extending a key deadline for some E-rate special construction applicants.  In March 2018, some E-rate special construction applicants from funding years 2016 and 2017 received incorrect program information from the Universal Service Administrative Company. That misinformation reportedly caused applicants to miss earlier implementation deadlines.

School nutrition flexibilities granted
July 1, 2019: New, less restrictive regulations on school nutrition will take effect on that date, providing schools with relief from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act requirements related to milk, whole grains, and sodium. The USDA's changes to its regulations represent official action on a plan announced by the Secretary of Agriculture in May 2017. Under the new final rule, schools will be able to offer students flavored one-percent milk (not just unflavored skim milk), reduce the current 100 percent whole grain requirement to just 50 percent – ending the exemption process that some school districts employed when having trouble meeting the 100 percent requirement, and maintain the current Target 1 sodium level until 2024.

For more information see IASB’s Federal Legislative Report (116-01), March 5, 2019, on the 116th Congress, Number 01.