NIISA Conference Notes

The conference itself was themed around trauma in our schools. Districts may not think they have trauma issues but in fact, most of you do. A traumatic incident for a student may be as simple as where to go after school, drugs and friends (or a lack of). A student's grandmother passes, and that student has a trauma issue. While schools cannot keep track of each students' personal life, the school can make sure it is the safe haven for the student. There is a National Native Trauma Center at the U of M. I will try to incorporate them into our summer meeting in July or August.

Then Jane Lucas who is Senator Thunes' (SD) staffer presented the following:

1. there will be a continuing resolution through April (has already happened)

2. Virginia Foxx ( NC) will head the House Education Committee

3. Trump Administration predictions

a. change in Education Policy especially if Betsy Devoss is the Secretary of Education

b. ESSA is authorized through 2020

c. expansion of charter and private schools

4. Congress action in the 1st 200 days

a. budget reconciliation to provide a pathway to repeal Obamacare

b. Supreme Court nominations

c. 2nd budget reconciliation to give pathway for tax reform

d. deal with the debt ceiling

5. Higher Ed

a. student loan interest rates will be looked at

b. K-12 school choice

c. ESSA implementation

d. will take a back seat to health care, tax reform and labor

6. Effective Advocacy

a. Know who, what, when and where about your state Congressional team

b. build relationships with the staffer (e-mail)

c. Educate staffer

d. Invite to visit your school

e. ALWAYS follow up with a thank you note.

7. Impact Aid safety features

a. Bipartisan program

b. Impact Aid coalition

if you would like to follow up on any of these statements contact Jane at jane_lucas@thune.senate.gov

Montana had a strong presence at the conference as far as presenters go. A big thank you to Keith S,moker Jr. (Fort Peck) and Mathew Johnson, (Browning) for not only putting on informative

presentations but in representing Montana as well as you did.