Category Archives: Education

State of Preschool 2011

Source: W. Steven Barnett, Megan E. Carolan, Jen Fitzgerald, James H. Squires, National Institute for Early Education Research, 2011

From the summary:
The 2011 State Preschool Yearbook is the newest edition of our annual report profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the United States. This latest Yearbook presents data on state-funded prekindergarten during the 2010-2011 school year as well as documenting a decade of progress since the first Yearbook collected data on the 2001-2002 school year. Tracking these trends is essential to ensuring states prioritize early childhood education, which influences how successfully America’s future generations will compete in a global knowledge economy.

Twenty-eight percent of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded preschool program in the 2010-2011 school year, indicating the importance of ensuring quality in existing programs and expanding access to all children. The National Institute for Early Education Research has developed the State Preschool Yearbook series to provide information on the availability and quality of services offered through these programs to children at ages 3 and 4 and serve as a resource to policymakers and educators seeking to start all young learners on the right foot.

Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2010; Financial Statistics, Fiscal Year 2010; and Graduation Rates, Selected Cohorts, 2002-2007

Source: Laura G. Knapp, et. al., National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2012280, March 2012

From the abstract:
This First Look report presents findings from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) spring 2011 data collection. This collection included five components: Student Financial Aid for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students for the 2009-10 academic year; Enrollment for fall 2010; Graduation Rates within 150 percent of normal program completion time for full-time, first-time degree/ certificate-seeking undergraduate students beginning college in 2004 at 4-year institutions or in 2007 at less-than-4-year institutions; Graduation Rates within 200 percent of normal program completion time for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students beginning college in 2002 at 4-year institutions or in 2006 at less-than-4-year institutions; and Finance for fiscal year 2010.

The Other Debt Crisis – Public universities will take on more debt as states decrease spending on capital projects

Source: Kevin Kiley, Inside Higher Ed, April 10, 2012

Burdened by aging campuses, several years of backlogged maintenance projects, increased competition for students (and the tuition revenue that comes with them), and little hope that states are going to fund the construction they need, either through appropriations or by issuing their own debt, public colleges and universities are likely to issue their own debt to finance the renovation of their facilities — a change that moves public institutions closer to their private counterparts, could change what institutions build and repair, and could pass more costs on to students….

…For institutions that can take on more debt — those that have low debt loads or are growing enrollments and revenues, typically flagship universities — the financing change will have little impact on their bottom lines. They might have less money to spend on other priorities, but most expect revenues to keep pace with the amount of debt they’re assuming.

But other public institutions aren’t so lucky. Many can’t issue cheap debt, either because they’ve run up against statutory limits or because their internal finances won’t let them.
See also:
U.S. Higher Education Outlook Mixed in 2012
Source Moody’s Investor Service, Industry Outlook, January 20, 2012

The Survey of Academic Libraries, 2012-13 Edition

Source: Primary Research Group, March 2012
(subscription required)

From the summary:
This report presents data from 110 American academic libraries about the state of their strategic thinking on a myriad of issues including: use of eBooks and eBook readers, development of audio-visual resources, digitization of special collections, conference attendance and library staff training, views of open access, technology center development policies, use of clould computing and inventory tracking technologies and many other issues.

The report present detailed data on trends and spending plans in the following areas: capital spending, salaries/benefits and hiring, use of student labor, eBooks and traditional books, audio-video, journals and periodicals, online databases, library instructional technology, tablet computers and eBook readers, and many other areas. Data is broken out by size and type of academic library and for public and private institutions.

College libraries serving fewer than 1,000 students spent a mean of just $24,298 on information accessed online

63.27% of libraries in the sample say that salaries and benefits for their librarians have declined in real terms over the past year.

Over the next few years, 68.75% of libraries in the sample expect their resource allocation to keep pace with that of other departments in their college.

In 2012-2013, libraries in the sample expect to increase materials spending by a mean of 1.62%.

14.29% of 4-year college libraries and 15.63% of MA granting college libraries have received grant support from foundations.

60% of colleges in the sample with more than 10,000 students enrolled say that their capital budget has declined over the past two years.

2012 School Libraries Count!

Source: American Association of School Librarians, 2012

From the summary:
AASL is sponsoring a longitudinal survey that will 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, with annual results posted each year. Most of the questions are tracking questions, though each year the survey includes a short series of topical questions.
2011 Report
Full Report
Digital Citizenship Report
See also:
ALA press release

State Higher Education Finance FY 2011

Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), March 2012

State and local government financial commitment to higher education has increased substantially over the past twenty-five years. In 1986, state and local governments combined provided $31.4 billion in direct support for general operating expenses of public and independent higher education institutions. This investment increased to $47.8 billion in 1996, $77 billion in 2006, and $88.8 billion by 2008.

A recession beginning in 2008 dramatically reduced state revenue and ended the growth in state and local support achieved between 2004 and 2008. In response, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act approved February 17, 2009 provided funding to stabilize state support for education among other interventions to achieve economic recovery. With the approval of the Secretary of Education, funds allocated to the states by Congress could be used to supplement state and local funding for education in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

In 2011, 31 states provided ARRA funding to their higher education systems totaling $2.8 billion, helping to offset reductions in state and local support since 2008. State and local support in 2011 including ARRA funds totaled $87.5 billion, actually showing a 2.5 percent increase in funding for higher education over 2010 (although still below 2008 and 2009). The stability in support for higher education is an indicator that ARRA funding has served its purpose in minimizing the negative effects of the economic recession on higher education.

Sounding the Alarm

Source: Pennsylvania State Education Association, March 2012

From the summary:
Pennsylvania’s public schools are in the midst of their toughest fiscal crisis since the 1930s. Following the nearly $860 million in cuts in 2011-12 and the proposal of $100 million more for next year, districts are being forced to make increasingly difficult decisions about how to meet the education needs of their students. Many of these decisions will result in cuts to programs necessary to provide the challenging, well-rounded, and comprehensive curriculum required for success in the 21st Century global economy. These cuts are not in the best interests of America’s students, therefore risking the future of our children.

Recent reports revealed that some school districts, such as Chester Upland and York City, had insufficient cash on hand to meet payroll. These are only the first instances of districts pushed to the breaking point. More will follow. If legislative action isn’t taken now, the financial viability of a significant number of school districts will be threatened by 2014. Pennsylvania could do a disservice to an entire generation of students who will not get a second chance.
See also:
Appendix A: Program Curtailment Requests
Appendix B: Impact of Funding Cuts
Appendix C: Chart on Salaries and Benefits
Appendix D: Solutions That Work
Press release

Weathering the Storm: How the Economic Recession Continues to Impact School Districts

Source: Noelle M. Ellerson, Daniel A. Domenech, American Association of School Administrators (AASA), March 2012

From the summary:
Schools Anticipate Continued Budget Cuts; Study Shows Little Relief in Current or Upcoming School Years

School districts, already operating in their fourth consecutive year of budget cuts, do not anticipate returning to pre-recession funding levels for several years. In a new survey of school administrators, released today by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), school administrators report continued erosion of fiscal resources available to school districts, as the worst recession in recent history continues to impact state and local budgets….

According to the survey:
• School districts across the nation continue to report a breadth and depth of budget cuts.
• More than three quarters (81.4 percent) of districts described their district as inadequately funded, down only slightly from 84 percent in Dec. 2010.
• Nearly three-quarters (71.2 percent) of school districts reported a cut in state/local revenues between 2010-11 and 2011-12.
• Stop-gap efforts to avoid/minimize job cuts were short-lived and reductions in force will continue to be a reality in the near future.
• Two-thirds (68.2 percent) of respondents eliminated positions in 2011-12, virtually identical to the 68 percent in 2010-11 and the 65.5 percent who anticipate doing so in 2012-13.

Does America Promote Mobility As Well As Other Nations?

Source: Pew Economic Mobility Project, November 2011

From the summary:
The Pew Economic Mobility Project’s fact sheet, Does America Promote Mobility As Well As Other Nations?, previews selected key findings from a multi-country study of economic mobility led by the Russell Sage Foundation with additional funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Sutton Trust. Researchers in 10 countries investigated how socioeconomic advantage, as measured by parents’ education, is transmitted over the course of one’s life. The results show that in the United States, there is a stronger link between parents’ education and children’s economic, educational, and socio-emotional outcomes than in any other country investigated.