Federal Public Policy Call to Action and Updates

February 2016

Education Reform 

On December 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan bill to revise and replace No Child Left Behind and overhaul K-12 education. The American Camp Association and many partners in the out-of-school time community have been advocating for change to the country’s K-12 education policy so that it recognizes the critical role out-of-school time programs play in the year-round education of the whole child. We are pleased to report that the new law contains a number of exciting opportunities for camps and other out-of-school time providers to be welcomed and recognized as active participants in K-12 education — including the potential to receive grant funding. Both grant and partnership opportunities are detailed in the new law. Read about the potential impact on camps at: www.ACAcamps.org/news-publications/news/every-student-succeeds-act-essa-new-law-provides-new-opportunities-camps

Transportation of Passengers and Interstate Commerce Law Changed

After almost two years of proactive advocacy, ACA is thrilled to report that on December 18, 2015, Congress signed into law a change to the commercial transportation regulations impacting camps. Previously, in some states, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was enforcing commercial interstate carrier regulations on camp programs. The new law provides an exemption from the United States Code, Title 49, Interstate Transportation. Specifically, regarding Section § 13506, “exempting the transportation of passengers by 9-15 passenger motor vehicles operated by youth or family camps that provide recreational or educational activities” from certain commercial regulations. For more details visit: www.acacamps.org/news-publications/news/new-law-exempts-camps-certain-commercial-transportation-regulations.

Federal Lands Permit Holders — Important Update

On December 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus federal spending bill — HR 2029 containing a provision to defund the implementation and enforcement of the President’s 2014 Executive Order 13658. The Executive Order established a minimum wage for contractors of $10.10 for workers on Federal construction and service contracts. This new provision serves as a stop gap to implementation and enforcement until such time as a permanent change in law is made to bring clarity to the issue. Camps can expect that in 2016, new contracts will not include the language contained in the Executive Order. For more details visit: www.ACAcamps.org/news-publications/news/federal-lands-permits-minimum-wage-issues-important-update.

Criminal Background Checks

ACA’s criminal background check bill — a bill to close the gaping hole in federal law regarding youth-serving organization’s access to FBI background checks — is back in Congress! ACA, the FBI, and many youth-serving organizations are calling their communities to action to ensure the passage of this important bi-partisan bill. The bill has no impact on the federal budget, but an enormous impact on protecting the safety of kids. Learn more and advocate at: www.ACAcamps.org/news-publications/news/child-protection-improvements-act-reintroduced-advocate-today