Category Archives: Schools K-12

2010 State Policies/Activities

Source: Education Commission of the States, 2010

The following summary includes policies enacted in 2010. Summaries are collected from state Web sites, state newsletters, StateNet, LexisNexis and Westlaw. Descriptions often reflect the content of bills as introduced and may not reflect changes made during the legislative process. To assure that this information reaches you in a timely manner, minimal attention has been paid to style (capitalization, punctuation) or format. To view the documents, click on the blue triangle next to the topic of interest. To view all, press the button located at the top labeled “Expand All.”

Who Benefits From Federal Subsidies for Free and Reduced Price School Meals?

Source: Zoë Neuberger and Tina Fritz Namian, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, January 29, 2010

From the summary:
In anticipation of Congressional reauthorization of the federal child nutrition programs, some have called for increased federal reimbursement rates for school meals to improve their nutritional quality. Under current rules, however, federal payments for free and reduced price meals are not used solely to underwrite the cost of producing those meals.

Demographics, Fiscal Health, and School Quality: Shedding Light on School Closure Decisions

Source: Sherrilyn M. Billger, IZA Discussion Paper No. 4739, February 2010

In our current challenging budgetary environment, school closures remain a potentially attractive choice. With a large panel of Illinois schools from 1991 to 2005, I investigate which factor contribute to school closures. Among elementary schools, declining enrollments and rural locations coincide with closures. However, schools with higher per-pupil spending are ceteris paribus less likely to close. Furthermore, better test scores also yield lower probabilities. High expenditures contribute to junior high closure, but the most significant predictors are the proportions of black and low income students. Administrators may claim that low enrollments and high spending motivate school closures, but in Illinois, that is not the whole story.

Summary and Analysis of President Obama’s Education Budget Request – Fiscal Year 2011

Source: New America Foundation, Federal Education Budget Project, Issue Brief, February 2010

The president’s 2011 budget request marks the second time the Obama administration has submitted funding recommendations for every federal education program and a comprehensive list of new education policy initiatives. The administration has proposed a $49.7 billion budget for education programs subject to the annual appropriations process (excluding Pell Grants), up from $46.2 billion in fiscal year 2010. This issue brief provides a summary and analysis of the president’s fiscal year 2011 education budget request.

Driven to Win

Source: Teamster, Vol. 107 no.1, January/February 2010
(scroll down)

Their goal was in sight and nothing was going to deter these workers from what was rightfully theirs. They had worked hard for it, and finally, it was their turn. They were going to become a part of labor history– they were going to become Teamsters. More than 1,700 bus workers with the Baumann transportation companies on Long Island are now the newest members of Local 1205, headquartered in Farmingdale, New York. This is a truly historic election, as only 26 certification election victories have taken place for bargaining units of 1,700 or more employees through the National Labor Relations Board in the past 20 years. This is one of those victories.

State Budget Cuts: America’s Kids Pay the Price

Source: National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, January 2010

In 2008, America’s children saw the nation’s financial system melt down and the worst recession in decades commence. In 2009, the nation’s children paid the price. At least 42 states have cut public health, programs for children with disabilities, K-12 and early education, and higher education. Next year doesn’t look any better with states needing to close as much as $260 billion dollars in budget deficits.

Congress will need to make investments in children’s programs a priority in both the jobs bill and the 2011 federal budget if children’s programs are not to be cut further.

This is grim news for America’s children. They make up more than 35 percent of those in
poverty, yet they comprise only 24.6 percent of the population. Children did not cause the
recession, but they certainly are feeling the effects of it. States cut the most basic of services
for children this year with deeper cuts on the horizon for next year. This report includes an illustrative list of state-by-state budget cuts affecting children.

What’s Fueling the Redirection of Special Education Funds

Source: Jennifer Cohen, New America Foundation, Ed Money Watch Blog, January 12, 2009

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting the large number of school districts that will opt to take advantage of an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provision that allows them to reduce state and local special education spending when their federal funding under the law has increased from the year before. This provision is particularly relevant in 2010 because supplemental IDEA funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has dramatically increased the funding each district will receive. The article, unfortunately, does not fully discuss why so many districts are suddenly able to utilize this provision. It turns out that many states, in an attempt to make more districts eligible for the funding reduction provision, loosened the requirements districts must meet to qualify.

Federal Context & Funding Opportunities for PreK-3rd

Source: Sara Mead, New America Foundation, Updated Jan 2009

From the blog:
In November, Early Ed Watch’s Sara Mead gave a presentation at a Harvard Graduate School of Education PreK-3rd Institute that offers a good primer on federal policy climate for PreK-3rd reforms. The presentation, Federal Context & Funding Opportunities for PreK-3rd, provides a comprehensive overview of the federal funding streams that states, schools, and ECE providers can use to support PreK-3rd work. It also outlines the recent and upcoming federal policy developments that should create potential opportunities for PreK-3rd reformers. Since November, we’ve made a few updates to keep it current and just published it on our program page. Take a look!

Safe Routes to School Putting Traffic Safety First

Source: Kristin Gavin, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, December 2009

From a School Transportation News article:
While state and federal programs continue to advocate students walking and biking to school to achieve physical fitness and mitigate traffic congestion and resulting pollution, the children who utilize these modes of transportation are open to significantly more injuries and fatalities than if they rode the school bus.

The five-year, $612 million federal Safe Routes to School Program passed in 2005 is currently up for reauthorization the of surface transportation act (SAFTEA-LU). But, the National Safe Routes to School Task Force estimated that the funds will only reach about 7.5 percent of U.S. schools in the United States, and only for a portion of their needed infrastructure improvements and programming. In response, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership is calling on Congress to increase funding by $600 million.

2010 Education Appropriations Guide

Source: Jason Delisle, New America Foundation, December 2009

From the summary:
Congress completed the fiscal year 2010 appropriations process on Dec. 13, 2009, finalizing annual funding for nearly all federal education programs through September 2010 at $63.7 billion, up $1.1 billion from the prior year, excluding economic stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Making sense of the federal education budget and the appropriations process can be a frustrating task for education advocates, state and local policymakers, the media, and the public. The now concluded fiscal year 2010 appropriations process is no exception.

This issue brief is intended to be a helpful guide to the appropriations process and recently enacted fiscal year 2010 education funding. It includes an analysis of funding for major education programs and a timeline of the 2010 appropriations process. It also includes exclusive tables comparing 2010 funding to prior years, the president’s budget request, and funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.