The legacy starts early, with an infusion of funding for early childhood programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. When the administration took office in early 2009, the economic crisis had decimated many state budgets, imperiling childcare and preschool funding for hundreds of thousands of children.
By NewSchools Venture Fund – Our proposal is to channel $4B of philanthropy into this type of innovative schools over the next 10 years. That might sound like a pretty large amount of money, and I guess it is. But, it doesn’t seem so big if you think about it like this: it’s only 20 percent of the total philanthropy that will flow to K-12 education in the coming decade, and it’s less than 1 percent of the $600B in public spending on K-12 education every year.
Changes to the way spending on schools must be reported under the Every Student Succeeds Act—along with a dramatic political fight in Washington about proper use of federal money in schools—are part of the picture as schools prepare for the new environment under ESSA come the 2017-18 school year.
This summer, Philadelphia became the first big city to pass a sweetened-beverage levy, which was designed to fund the early childhood program. The city will pump $12.2 million into pre-K this year, funded through the beverage tax, and hopes to ramp up funding to cover 6,500 children in five years.
Indiana: As lawmakers wade into the issue, they must strike a delicate balance between providing money to expand the program while not ignoring competing interests as they write a new, two-year budget this legislative session. Lawmakers also must juggle expanding the number of scholarship recipients while allowing time for the state to create more spots in high-quality programs.
Kentucky: A proposed funding model for higher education in the state would reward progress in degree production and course completion while also offering funding for operational support.
This final week in the three part series, we grapple with the politics of school money, asking: Is there a better way to pay for our schools? The answer requires that we do two things: explore the challenges to change, and spotlight a few ideas that could lead to a more balanced system. What follows is a wrap-up of our reporting. For nearly every name and place, you’ll find a hyperlink to more.
This idea, that sprinkling more dollars over troubled schools won’t magically improve test scores or graduation rates, is a common refrain among many politicians, activists and experts. And they have research to back it up…This debate has raged for at least half a century, and today we’re going to put both sides under a microscope.
Over the next three weeks, the NPR Ed Team will unveil a vast collection of “School Money” stories told in collaboration with station reporters across the country. Our goal: To give voice to this school-funding imbalance and to explain what happens when many of America’s poorest students also attend its poorest schools. Click here to see how your school district compares to others on spending per student.
Newly released data from the National Center for Education Statistics show per pupil outlays have not recovered from the recession. Specifically, NCES data shows that 31 states are contributing less to public education than they did in 2008.