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In The News …

Objections to Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (WAMU: Diane Rehm Show): “The widely praised Violence Against Women Act faces a tough reauthorization battle. Though introduced in a bipartisan way, it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote with all the Democrats voting to move it to the full Senate and all the Republicans voting against.” Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, explains that the bill “as passed out of the Senate committee, recognizes the LGBT community immigrant women who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse;” but the bill does not include a “mandate for holding batterers accountable” or a reparations provision. 17 Catalogue nonprofits, including the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, focus particularly on girls and women and women; learn more right here.

President Obama’s Budget Request for the NEA: The Fine Print (Americans for the Arts blog): “We learned early that morning that President Obama is proposing an increase of $8 million (from $146M to $154M) for the NEA, which was a very positive start. In the past two years, NEA funding has dropped almost $22M and has yet to recover from the enormous cuts from its high of $176M in 1992. In particular, the budget of the Our Town program, which rewarded over half of its grants to communities of less than 200,000 in 2011, would increase from $5 million to $10 million. Two months ago, the NEA also announced Operation Homecoming, a partnership with the Department of Defense that will host “a new series of writing workshops for returning troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.”

Senate debates teacher tenure bill (Washington Post: Virginia Schools Insider): “The Virginia Senate debated Tuesday whether to eliminate tenure-related job protections for public school teachers, one day after lawmakers passed a companion measure in the House [...] The governor?s legislation would give administrators the right to let teachers go without demonstrating just cause — a move that has drawn intense resistance from labor leaders and their allies in the General Assembly.” Several state legislatures, Connecticut and New Jersey among them, are also considering changes to public education tenure laws; and since 2009, a dozen states already have enacted reforms, “explicitly link teachers’ employment status to student achievement.” Do you agree that employment opportunities should be tied to achievement in the classroom? And how is that measured?

Housing Aid Would Be Flat in Obama Budget (Chronicle of Philanthropy): The President’s 2013 budget would hold funding steady at $1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and at $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants, “which provide money to states and cities for housing and neighborhood-development projects.” Spending for Housing and Urban Development Department would increase in several areas, including housing counseling services and homeless assistance grants (which would increase from $1.9 billion to $2.2 billion.)

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