Inside This Issue
November Bishop's Presentation
President Signs CCDBG Bill Into Law
FCC's Chairman Wheeler Proposes To Permanently Increase Annual Funding for E-Rate By $1.5 Billion
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Executive Director

November Presentation to the Bishops

On November 9th, just prior to the Bishops General Assembly, the Committee on Catholic Education in cooperation with the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church hosted a workshop entitled "Catholic Education and Underserved Populations."  With the expertise of Fr. Ron Nuzzi from ACE ARISE of the University of Notre Dame,  CARA International,  and Dr. John Convey of the Catholic University of America, 60 bishops participated in an engaging presentation and discussion about the importance of Catholic education and outreach to underserved populations. Fr. Joe Corpora, CSC from ACE Catholic School Advantage Campaign of the University of Notre Dame led the presentation and discussion regarding underserved and Latino children in our schools.  Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, O.P., Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago and  Annette Parsons, Chief Education Administrator for the Diocese of Richmond spoke about the importance of outreach to underserved communities while Mike Scherschligt, Director of the Holy Family School of Faith, addressed the critical need of formation of leaders and teachers as disciples and witnesses to the faith. The response of the bishops present was encouraging and energizing.      

On November 10th Archbishop George Lucas, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, and Bishop Daniel Flores, Chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, gave a joint presentation to the Body of Bishops about Catholic schools and underserved populations. The PowerPoint and script of the presentation can be accessed on the USCCB Catholic Education Tool Kit page. Again, the response of the bishops was very positive. The encouragement of so many bishops for Catholic schools was a sign of great hope.   


Lastly, a discussion about Catholic schools was part of the Bishop's Regional Meetings which took place at the end of the General Assembly.  The Bishops were asked to discuss and give feedback on questions generated by the Secretariat on Catholic Education Catholic during the regional meeting.  The information from these discussions will help inform the work of the Committee on Catholic Education and the Secretariat for Catholic Education at the USCCB for several years.    

Associate Director of Public Policy

President Signs CCDBG Bill Into Law
November 19th, just two days after the Senate agreed to the House amendment to CCDBG, President Obama signed the bill (S. 1086) into law. CCDBG, or The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, provides funds to states to assist low-income families or those receiving assistance, in obtaining child care while parents work or participate in educational job training. A vast majority of recipients who receive CCDBG support do so through certificates (or vouchers) which allow parents to choose the child care provider and program of their choice. The program has not been reauthorized since 1996.  After S. 1086 was first introduced, the Department of Health and Human Services began a rulemaking process that sought to increase the use of grants and contracts to the detriment of certificates (vouchers). USCCB was successful in obtaining an amendment to S. 1086 which re-emphasized the importance of certificates as the parental choice component of the program. At the bill signing ceremony, President Obama explained the purpose of the rulemaking in the middle of the legislative process: " I first proposed legislation that would accomplish some of these goals back in 2010.  When we couldn't get it through Congress, we began a rulemaking process to try to do this through executive efforts - and Sylvia Burwell, the HHS Secretary is here.  Because the legislation is now passed, we are actually ending the rulemaking process because we've now got a law and we're going to be able to focus on implementing the law." We are delighted to have President Obama on record as ending the troublesome rulemaking and will be following up with the federal agency accordingly. 

FCC's Chairman Wheeler Proposes To Permanently Increase Annual Funding for E-Rate By $1.5 Billion


On November 17th, Chairman Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communications Commission announced his proposal to permanently increase the funding level of the E-Rate program by $1.5 billion annually. This proposal is the culmination of a years' worth of advocacy by USCCB and its colleagues in the EdLINC Coalition. The proposal has been added to the Agenda for the Commission's December 11th meeting and is subject to a vote of the full 5-member Commission.