Category Archives: Education

Reforming Head Start: What 'Re-competition' Means for the Federal Government's Pre-K Program

Source: Maggie Severns,New America Foundation, December 2012

From the blog post:
Our new issue brief, Reforming Head Start: What ‘Re-competition’ Means for the Federal Government’s Pre-K Program, is our attempt to answer these questions clearly and consicely. Before now, much of this information has not been available for public viewing nor has it existed succinctly in one place for policymakers and the public to digest. The paper explains the inner workings of the new re-competition system so far.

It also includes information that will be of interest to those who are more familiar with Head Start, such as brief stories about what triggered re-competition procedures for three grantees in New York, Oklahoma and Ohio.

Soaring Tuitions: Are Public Funding Cuts to Blame?

Source: Rajashri Chakrabarti, Maricar Mabutas, and Basit Zafar, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Liberty Street Economics blog, September 19, 2012

Public colleges and universities play a vital role in training a state’s workforce, yet state support for higher education has been declining for years. As a share of total revenues for America’s public institutions of higher education, state and local appropriations have fallen every year over the past decade, dropping from 70.7 percent in 2000 to 57.1 percent in 2011. At the same time, college enrollment numbers have swelled across the country–public institutions’ rolls grew from 8.6 million full-time students in 2000 to 11.8 million in 2011. Faced with dwindling funding from the states, public institutions of higher education have been forced to find ways to shift their costs or raise revenue on their own. In this post, we analyze the relationship between changes in state and local funding for higher education and changes in public institution tuition.

How Pennsylvania School Libraries Pay Off: Investments in Student Achievement and Academic Standards

Source: Keith Curry Lance and Bill Schwarz, research partners include University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences and the RSL Research Group, October 2012

The study consists of three phases of research:
– An analysis of available data about Pennsylvania school libraries and their relationships to the 2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Reading and Writing scores

– An analysis of survey data about the perceptions of school library programs of administrators, teachers, and librarians and the relationships between those perceptions and their assessments of library program teaching of 21st Century Learner and PA/Common Core standards, and, in turn, the relationships between educators’ assessments of library program teaching of those two sets of standards and PSSA scores

– Estimated investments needed to fund those components of a 21st century school library infrastructure that would have the greatest impact on student achievement in Pennsylvania

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.