Friday, March 29, 2013

President Signs Appropriations Package Including ESSCP for Fiscal Year 2013

News from ASCA
President Signs Appropriations Package Including ESSCP for Fiscal Year 2013

The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP), the only federal program dedicated to creating and expanding school counseling services in America's public schools, remains funded in FY13. Although the House of Representatives attempted to eliminate the program, the Senate and House ultimately agreed to fund ESSCP at approximately $49.665 million. The FY13 funding amount is a cut of more than 5 percent from FY12 levels due to the federal sequester that took place on March 1.

The continued funding of ESSCP, despite numerous proposals to eliminate, is a testament to your grassroots efforts. Thank you to everyone who took time out of your busy day to make a phone call, send an e-mail or visit your elected official to discuss the important work school counselors are doing every day. The Senate stood behind this program, countering the House's request to eliminate the program and saving it from catastrophic cuts. ASCA will formally thank both the House and Senate for preserving this program for another year.

What Happens Next?
School districts that were awarded grants in either FY11 or FY12 will receive continued funding for 2013. Historically, a grant competition has not occurred in years ending in an odd number; instead, the next number of qualifying grants from the FY12 competition would be awarded. If, in fact, a FY13 grant competition does take place, ASCA will send out an alert to all members when the U.S. Department of Education releases the request for proposals and will also post the application process on the ASCA website, the ASCA SCENE, Twitter and Facebook pages.

We Continue the Effort for FY14
ASCA has already initiated advocacy efforts for FY14 (which begins Oct. 1, 2013) funding. In addition to advocacy visits with congressional staff, ASCA member Kristen Sands from Jacksonville Heights Elementary School testified before the U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee in an appropriations hearing on the importance of the ESSCP. Read her testimony here.

For further information regarding ASCA's legislative affairs efforts contact Amanda Fitzgerald.

Amanda Fitzgerald
ASCA Director of Public Policy

phone: 703-683-ASCA