Category Archives: Education

The Cost of Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs

Source: Jean Baldwin Grossman, Christianne Lind, et al., Wallace Foundation, January 2009

From the summary:
Out-of-school time (OST) programs are increasingly expected to be of high enough quality to produce real benefits for children, but until now there has been little information on what such quality programming costs. This groundbreaking report fills that gap, providing a data-filled examination of the costs of 111 diverse, quality OST programs in six cities. The report finds that costs vary widely depending on a range of factors from program goals to times of operation and the ages of the children served. The report is also distinctive because it looks at the full costs of programming, including non-cash contributions OST operators often depend on such as free-of-charge space for programming.

To bring these findings to life, Wallace and the report’s research team also created an online “OST cost calculator” on Wallace’s website to help users calculate the costs of various options for high-quality OST programs. To visit the site – which includes the cost calculator, examples of program costs and options, quality strategies and other resources – click here.

Green Fleets Across America 2009

Source: School Bus Fleet, Vol. 55 no. 1, January 2009
(free registration required)

For pupil transporters, “going green” not only benefits the environment and yields cost savings, it provides a healthier ride and an educational experience for students. Here, we showcase practices in place at school districts and contractors throughout the country. 

The State of the USA

Source: The State of the USA, 2009

From a press release:
Policymakers, the media, and the public should focus on 20 specific health indicators as “yardsticks” to measure the overall health and well-being of Americans, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. By providing information that can be compared over time, these 20 indicators will also help Americans track the nation’s progress on improving our health and the effectiveness of public health and care systems, the report says.

The indicators are intended for the health section of a new Web site that the nonprofit State of the USA Inc. (SUSA) is building as a tool for measuring and monitoring the nation on several fronts. The site will aim to help people become more-informed and active participants in national discussions about important topics — such as health, education, and the environment — by giving them a way to measure national progress from year to year and to compare it to that of other countries. Until recently, only researchers and academics have had the capacity for this kind of analysis.

A Renewed Head Start: New Opportunities for Latino Children

Source: Erika Beltran and Amy Goldwasser, National Council of La Raza, December 9, 2008

On December 12, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-134). This was the first reauthorization of Head Start in nearly ten years. Given the growing diversity and rapidly changing demographics across the country, Latino children and families had a lot at stake in the reauthorization process of the nation’s premier early childhood education program. This white paper highlights the new provisions found in the bill which, if well implemented, could significantly improve services for Latino children. Specifically, this paper:

• Provides an overview of issues related to Latinos’ and LEPs’ access to high-quality Head Start programs and services
• Discusses how these challenges are addressed in the new legislation
• Recommends strategies for effective implementation to best meet the needs of Hispanic children

Employee Awareness of Workplace Violence Policies and Perceptions for Addressing Perpetrators at Colleges and Universities

Source: Jack L. Howard, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Published online: 29 July 2008
(subscription required)

Most of the research on workplace violence has focused on workplace violence incidents and the development of models to predict and address the phenomenon. The assumption that all organizations are essentially similar in nature underlies this research. However, colleges and universities differ from for-profit businesses. Little, if any, research has been conducted to determine employees’ awareness of workplace violence policies and employee perceptions of potential perpetrators and how to address perpetrators which is necessary for increasing such policies’ effectiveness. The present study examines the awareness of employees at a large, public university in the Midwestern United States concerning WPV. Respondents indicate which sources they perceive to be likely perpetrators of workplace violence, and the actions that organization should take if WPV occurs. Based on this information, steps to increase employee awareness of workplace violence policies in colleges and universities are suggested.

Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Source: Rebecca R. Skinner, David P. Smole, Ann Lordeman, Wayne C. Riddle, Congressional Research Service, R40151, January 22, 2009

On January 15, 2009, the House Committee on Appropriations released a draft version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The primary purposes of the act focus on promoting economic recovery, assisting those most affected by the recession, improving economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health, investing in infrastructure, and stabilizing state and local government budgets. As part of this act, funds would be provided to several existing education programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), including programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ARRA would also create new programs that would support school construction at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education levels and provide general funds for education to support state fiscal stabilization. This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to education programs that are or would be administered by ED that were included in the act under Title IX (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) and Title XII (State Fiscal Stabilization Fund). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. The report will be updated as warranted by legislative action.

Economic Situation In The States

Source: Mike Griffith, Education Commission of the States, December 8, 2008

A recent PowerPoint presentation from ECS’ Senior Finance Policy Analyst Mike Griffith takes a
look at (1) The national and state economic situation; (2) How past economic downturns have impacted education spending; and (3) How education budgets will be impacted.

Nutcracker Effect’: The Fiscal Outlook For States

Source: Robert B. Ward, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, April 26, 2008

Presentation to the National Education Writers Association’s 61st National Seminar, outlining the effects of falling property values, demographic trends, and inflation on school finance. State revenue data are provided by region and for selected states. Concludes that schools have three choices: raise taxes, cut services, and/or find ways to use resources more cost-effectively.

Higher Education Funding Disconnect: Spending More, Getting Less

Source: Jane Wellman, Change, November-December 2008

The rich and famous are much in the news these days–colleges and universities that is, the ones with endowments in the hundreds of millions or more and whose run-up in assets has raised questions about their non-profit status from both state and federal lawmakers. The U.S. Senate Finance committee wants to know, for example, why institutions that are reported to average 20 percent annual increases in the market value of endowments of $500 million or more still need to raise tuition and fees every year. And the Internal Revenue Service is preparing for intensive audits of more than 400 institutions, looking at revenue-generating activities housed within them and how those activities fulfill the public or charitable purposes of the institutions. Meanwhile, legislation has been proposed in Massachusetts to levy state taxes on the Commonwealth’s wealthiest non-profit private institutions.

The Financial Downturn and Its Impact on Higher Education Institutions

Source: National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) in Partnership with the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities (AGB), 2008

Colleges and universities are extraordinarily stable institutions, in part due to their mission and role in our society and in part due to how they operate and are managed. Nonetheless, the current financial downturn is impacting higher education institutions in a wide variety of ways.

The financial challenges described below are among the most pressing in recent times and will call on presidents, chief financial officers (CFOs) and boards to work together to address the near-term fiscal impact on the institution’s operations as well as longer term consequences.

Following the narrative is a series of questions that decision makers are asking of themselves and colleagues as they work through the current uncertain environment. Not all questions will apply to every institution equally. However, effective oversight, management and stewardship mandate that institutional leaders are able to assure themselves and their constituencies that thorough analysis and full consideration have been applied in posing questions, providing answers and making decisions.