Category Archives: Education

Finding ways to finance infrastructure projects

Source: Meredith Zona, American City and County, October 18, 2012

For many local government officials across the United States, the question isn’t where to spend money, but what to cut, and many of those cuts have come from infrastructure spending. Cities and counties are spending less on schools, roadways, sewer and water systems than they have in decades. In fact, municipal infrastructure spending alone is down by nearly 30 percent since 2009, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Those cuts are likely to have far-reaching implications such as undermining public health and safety as roadways, drinking water and sewage systems continue to deteriorate.

However, money is available for infrastructure improvements. In fact, since the beginning of the recession in 2008, both the federal government and individual states have taken an active role in assuring that funds are available for all types of projects. And, even though the flow of funds has slowed over the past year or two, numerous sources of financial assistance for infrastructure projects exist. The problem is that many municipal managers just don’t know where to look for those funds.

CS Survey Part 1: 46% of Campus Public Safety Departments Understaffed

Source: Robin Hattersley Gray, Campus Safety Magazine, November 28, 2012

Training, public safety department staffing and pay, as well as active shooter and active bomber response are the biggest areas of concern revealed by CS’ Opinion Survey, which was conducted this fall. With more than 630 campus protection stakeholders responding, 46% of respondents say their public safety/emergency management departments don’t have enough staff to respond appropriately to incidents, and more than a quarter say their campus is not adequately prepared to respond to an active shooter or bomber incident. More than two in five (41%) say their police and/or security officers aren’t paid a fair wage for their duties.

Nearly half (45%) of all of the survey takers say their campus’ general staff don’t receive enough training on how to safely restrain individuals who are harming or might harm themselves or others. Nearly a third of respondents (31%) say their police and/or security officers don’t receive enough training on this issue, while 32% say they don’t get enough instruction on workplace violence.

2012 School Library Counts!

Source: American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, 2012

From the summary:
AASL sponsors a longitudinal survey to provide data on the health of the nation’s school library programs. The annual survey is open to library centers at all schools teaching at the primary and secondary levels. The first survey was conducted in 2007 and results from each year are available for review . Most of the questions are tracking questions, though, each year the survey includes a short series of topical questions. In 2012, the topical questions were focused on filtering and online access.

Head Start Participants, Programs, Families and Staff in 2011

Source: Stephanie Schmit, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Fact Sheet, November 2012

Using data from the Head Start Program Information Report (PIR), CLASP has developed two new fact sheets providing a look at the Head Start preschool and Early Head Start programs in the 2010-2011 program year. These new fact sheets explore the characteristics of children and families served by the programs, as well as the programs themselves and their staff.
Early Head Start Participants, Programs, Families and Staff in 2011

Planning Funding Partnerships: A Worksheet to Help States Get Started in Putting it Together

Source: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), 2012

This interactive worksheet comes from CLASP’s Putting it Together: A Guide to Financing Comprehensive Services in Child Care and Early Education. States and communities embarking on financing partnerships to expand access to comprehensive services can use this worksheet to begin mapping the need, available resources, and potential partnering strategies that will help them move forward. This document may be downloaded, edited, and saved.

History making ballot measures pass throughout country

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, The Thicket blog, November 7, 2012

Voters made history in dramatic fashion, passing groundbreaking measures to legalize marijuana use and approve same-sex marriage on a day when 174 ballot measures were considered by the electorates of 38 states. That was the most since 2006 when 204 measures were on ballots. In many states, ballots were quite long on Election Day, with voters in Alabama, California and Florida deciding on 11 statewide measures ranging from implementation of the Affordable Care Act to same-sex marriage. Of the 42 citizen initiatives on the ballot, voters approved 17. They rejected 23, and two remain too close to call at press time. In the 2000-2010 decade, voters approved 44.9% of all initiatives on the ballot. Of the 40 that are decided so far, 42.5% have been approved. That’s slightly below average and is subject to change as the results on these last two measures firm up.

Accountability in Higher Education: Exploring Impacts on State Budgets and Institutional Spending Patterns

Source: Thomas M. Rabovsky, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 22, No. 4, October 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In recent years, performance-based accountability regimes have become increasingly prevalent throughout government. One area where this has received considerable attention in recent years is higher education, where many states have adopted funding policies that seek to tie institutional funding to objective measures of performance. To what extent have these policies been effective tools for restructuring financial incentives and exerting influence over administrative behavior? Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, this article finds that performance-funding policies have not had substantial impacts on state budgets but that they have had some limited influence on institutional spending priorities. Furthermore, effects on institutional spending were found to be greater on public research universities than other public colleges.

Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk

Source: Stephanie SchmIt, Jamie Colvard, Center for Law and Social Policy, Zero to Three (ZTT), September 2012

From the press release:
Today, CLASP and ZERO TO THREE (ZTT), released the new report Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk, which highlights current state initiatives to expand and enhance Early Head Start (EHS) services for infants, toddlers, and their families.

CLASP and ZTT found that 23 states are using at least one of four approaches to build on the federally funded EHS program:

– Nine states have initiatives that extend the day or year of existing EHS services
– Nineteen states have initiatives that expand the capacity of EHS programs to increase the number of children and pregnant women served
– Two states provide resources and assistance to child care providers
– Six states support partnerships between EHS and center-based and/or family child care providers

Putting it Together: A guide to financing comprehensive services in child care and early education

Source: Christine Johnson-Staub, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), August 2012

From the summary:
CLASP’s newly released Putting it Together: A Guide to Financing Comprehensive Services in Child Care and Early Education aims to help states look beyond the major sources of child care and early education funding and consider alternative federal financing sources to bring comprehensive services into early childhood settings. Comprehensive services like preventive health care, developmental screenings, and family support are critical to the success of children – especially those who are most at risk for developmental challenges and delays. Yet the sources of child care funding historically available to states have limited supply and allowable uses, and are insufficient to provide comprehensive services in most child care and early education settings….CLASP’s financing guide walks early childhood stakeholders through the steps of building financing partnerships, and provides critical information and resources related to specific federal funding streams that support comprehensive services for children. The guide includes funding examples from state and local communities and technical details on the allowable uses of funding streams to support comprehensive services.

Per Pupil Costs for Large U.S. Districts, 2010

Source: Govistics, Center for Governmental Research (CGR), 2012

From the press release:
Of the largest school districts in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Newark, NJ and Buffalo, NY spent the most per pupil in 2010, according to an analysis by Govistics of recently released U.S. Census of Governments data. Per pupil spending was about $29,400 in D.C.; $28,600 in Newark; and $26,900 in Buffalo….At the other end of the scale, the 10 districts with the lowest per pupil costs spent less ─ in some cases significantly less ─ than one-third the amount spent per pupil in 2010 in D.C., Newark or Buffalo, the Govistics analysis found. Govistics ( is a web-based product of the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) and provides interactive access to key government data on U.S. school districts and local governments.

Govistics examined total spending (e.g., instruction, administration, capital costs) for the 285 districts with enrollments of 25,000 or more students….
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