Category Archives: Education

Some States Allow School Districts to Charge Parents for School Bus Transportation or to Advertise in or on School Buses to Raise Additional Revenue

Source: Florida Legislature, Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, Report No. 11-24, December 2011

From the summary:
Some states allow school districts to raise additional revenues to supplement the funds they receive from traditional state and local student transportation sources. For example, 12 states allow and 1 state mandates districts to charge parents fees to transport their children to and from school. In addition, 13 states allow school districts to advertise on the inside and/or outside of school buses. In general, states give school districts considerable decision-making authority to determine how to implement such policies.

State Expenditure Report 2010

Source: Brian Sigritz, National Association of State Budget Officers, December 2011

From the summary:
This annual report examines spending in the functional areas of state budgets: elementary and secondary education, higher education, public assistance, Medicaid, corrections, transportation, and all other. It also includes data on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and on revenue sources in state general funds.

State expenditures have been severely impacted by the national recession and downturn that began in December 2007. The economic downturn created a unique and in some ways unprecedented fiscal situation for states. Spending from state funds (general funds and other state funds combined) declined in both fiscal 2009 and in fiscal 2010, marking the first occurrences of outright spending declines in the 24-year history of the State Expenditure Report. The reduction in spending from state funds was due to a rapid decline in state revenue. During the two-year period from fiscal 2008-2010 state general fund revenues decreased nearly 12 percent, or by $78 billion.

Not all components of state expenditures declined during the recent downturn. Spending from federal funds increased sharply in both fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. Due to the influx of these additional federal dollars, total state expenditures grew modestly in both fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. It is estimated that in fiscal 2011 total state expenditures will once again experience moderate growth. In addition to continued growth in federal funds, both general funds and state revenue are estimated to have increased in fiscal 2011 for the first time since fiscal 2008. However, even after this growth, general funds and state revenue remain well below prerecession levels.

Review of 24 Head Start Grantees’ Compliance With Health and Safety Requirements

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, A-01-11-02503, December 2011

Of the 24 Head Start grantees we reviewed, none complied fully with Federal Head Start or State requirements to protect children from unsafe materials and equipment, and 21 of 24 grantees did not comply fully with Federal Head Start or State requirements to conduct criminal records checks, conduct recurring background checks, document criminal records checks, conduct checks of childcare exclusion lists, or conduct checks of child abuse and neglect registries.

The State requirements varied. ACF could adopt some of the State-specific requirements for background checks to better protect the health and safety of children. Those State requirements included periodic fingerprinting, conducting recurring background checks, and developing an exclusion list to deny employment to individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes.

State Collective Bargaining Policies for Teachers

Source: Emily Workman, Education Commission of the States, Teaching Quality/ Employment, Unions/ Collective Bargaining, December 2011

Collective bargaining, if a state allows it, always occurs at the school district level. State policy, however, influences the process in a number of ways, from prohibiting strikes to dictating the terms of arbitration. This ECS StateNote addresses the fol lowing areas of collective bargaining state policy:
• State Policy
• Coverage/Exclusions
• Scope Of Bargaining
• Right To Work
• Bargaining Impasse Procedures
• Strikes

Toward a New Grand Bargain: Collaborative Approaches to Labor-Management Reform in Massachusetts

Source: Barry Bluestone, Thomas A. Kochan, The Boston Foundation, October 2011

In the face of continuing fiscal crisis, the governors of some states including Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Jersey have taken to attacking public sector unions using new legislation to undermine the collective bargaining rights of state and municipal employees. The reaction has been widespread protest and a growing rift between political leaders and civil servants. We believe this painful struggle can not only be avoided in Massachusetts, but that the continuing fiscal crisis facing the Commonwealth and its municipalities can provide the motivation for forging a fundamental change in public sector labor relations that not only could lead to more efficient and effective government service, but in the case of our teachers’ unions, could play a critical role in improving public education and closing the achievement gap.

The approach we put forward in this report is developed on the basis of “interest-based collective bargaining” plus the empowerment of teachers, staff, and principals in the schools where they work. Instead of seeing unions as a barrier to fiscal prudence and better schools, we believe a new collective bargaining framework in the Commonwealth can lead to a “win-win-win” outcome for teachers, students, and taxpayers. The same approach generally can be used for all public sector labor-management relations.

States’ Requirements for Home Health Aide Training Lag Far Behind Nurse Aides’

Source: Deane Beebe, PHI, PolicyWorks Blog, 08 December 2011

A new PHI analysis found that only 15 states require home health aides to have more training hours than are federally mandated, yet 30 states and the District of Columbia require certified nurse aides (CNAs) to have more training hours than the federal requirements.
See also:
Press Release

Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2008-09 (Fiscal Year 2009)

Source: Stephen Q. Cornman, Amber M. Noel, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2012313, November 2011

From the summary:
This brief publication contains basic revenue and expenditure data, by district, for public elementary and secondary education for school year 2008-2009. It contains district-level data on revenues by source and expenditures by function, including expenditures per pupil.

Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2010, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Staff, 2010-11

Source: Laura G. Knapp, et. al., U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2012276, November 2011

From the summary:
This First Look presents data from the Winter 2010-11 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), including data on the number of staff employed in Title IV postsecondary institutions in fall 2010 by primary function/occupational activity, length of contract/teaching period, employment status, salary class interval, faculty and tenure status, academic rank, and gender.

Rules Raise Bar for Head Start Centers

Source: Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week, Vol. 31 Issue 12, November 16, 2011
(subscription required)

For the first time in the more than four-decade history of the Head Start program, early-education centers will have to prove they prepare disadvantaged children for kindergarten in order to hold on to their grants.

Long-awaited final rules, published Nov. 9, require the nation’s 1,600 Head Start and Early Head Start programs, including migrant and tribal programs, to meet higher quality benchmarks every five years.