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Trends in the News

Federal Education Funding

All Posts

Education Dive, 1/18/19

Repairing Puerto Rico’s schools post-Maria will cost $11B, take 7 years

Puerto Rico Education Secretary Julia Keleher told Education Week it will cost $11 billion and take from three years to seven years to bring the U.S. territory’s 856 public schools up to new building codes after they were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Keleher said she will try to secure $100 million of unspent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Category B financial assistance, which pays for urgent health and safety work including mold remediation. In a December 2018 news release, FEMA said work on the schools will focus on resiliency and energy efficiency.

Politico, 1/7/19

Poll: Americans want Congress to reduce student debt, improve K-12 funding

Americans in a new poll of education priorities say they have a couple of top assignments for the new Congress — slash student debt and boost funding for public schools. The majority of Americans — both Republicans and Democrats — said “finding ways to lessen student debt” and “increasing spending on K-12 public education” were “extremely important” goals for the Congress…Respondents were given a list of six education policy areas and asked which they believe are “extremely important” for Congress to tackle. Seventy-nine percent picked cutting student debt, making it first on the list. Seventy-six percent selected public education funding, putting it second.

Education Week, 1/4/19

Education statistics: Facts about American schools

How many K-12 public schools, districts, and students are there? And how much are we, as a nation, spending on the education of these youth? The Education Week library provides answers to these questions.  In 2014-15, $625 billion was spent on public elementary and secondary education by local, state, and federal agencies. On average, the nation spends $12,536 to educate each student. These expenditures vary state to state. Vermont has the highest per-pupil expenditures in the nation at $20,795, as adjusted for variations in regional costs. At the other end of the scale, Utah spends the least at $7,207 per student.

Education Dive, 12/18/18

Few federally funded ed innovations show positive gains

The field of education, just like other industries, has been fascinated by innovation in recent years, but this wave, as a federal report demonstrates, doesn’t guarantee positive change among the students it’s oftentimes supposed to help. Since 2008, the U.S. Department of Education has spent more than $1.5 billion in grants on nearly 200 educational innovations, but out of 67 evaluations of these innovations — which make up $700 million of the total — only 12, or 18%, found positive effects on student achievement, this report finds.

Education Week, 12/16/18

End Head Start, school lunch programs to cut deficit? Federal report probes options

Capitol Hill’s budget arm says that among the many options federal lawmakers have for cutting the budget deficit, they could consider eliminating Head Start and federally supported school meal programs. Instead of the current funding and structure provided to school meal programs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) outlines an approach familiar to many who deal with education policy and politics: block grants. The CBO also outlines an option that would eliminate Head Start. The savings? From 2020 to 2028, the CBO estimates the savings would add up to $92 billion.  “The main argument for this option is that many of the children expected to be enrolled in Head Start in the future would be enrolled in alternative preschool or child-care programs (both public and private) if Head Start was eliminated,” the report states.

Chalkbeat, 12/17/18

Does money matter for schools? Why one researcher says the question is ‘essentially settled’

“Throwing money at the problem” has long gotten a bad rap in education. But a string of recent studies have undermined that perspective. Now, a new review of research drives another nail into the argument’s coffin. The review looks closely at 13 studies focused on schools nationwide or in multiple states. Twelve found that spending more money meant statistically significant benefits for students, including rising test scores and high school graduation rates. Students saw big gains in school districts where spending jumped between 1972 and 1990, one study found. A 10 percent increase in spending across a student’s 12 years in public school led students to complete an additional one-third of a year of school and boosted their adult wages by 7 percent. The gains were largest for low-income kids.

Education Week, 12/6/18

School spending is up, and other key takeaways from latest federal data

Despite a growing chorus of teachers and public school advocates complaining about America’s spending on its public schools, spending actually increased 2.9 percent between fiscal year 2015 and 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics. America collected $678.4 billion for its public schools in the 2016 fiscal year and spent $596.1 billion. Local revenue increased by 3.7 percent, state revenue increased by 4.9 percent, and federal revenue increased by 1.1 percent in that same fiscal year.

Marketplace, 10/23/18

Millennials believe more money is the way to improve public education

University of Chicago political science professor Cathy Cohen’s ongoing GenForward survey examines millennial perceptions of major societal and political issues across race and gender, aiming specifically to shed light on underrepresented voices. Recently, the survey tackled millennial views on how best to improve public education. “When we ask young people any number of questions about the best way to improve public education they always circle back to increasing funding for public education. They want to pay teachers more, they want to invest in neighborhood schools and overall, they want to give more funding to public education.”

Education Week, 10/7/18

Betsy DeVos has approved every ESSA plan. Read what’s in them.

Roughly 34 months after President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have gotten the seal of approval for their ESSA plans from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. For each ESSA plan, Education Week highlights six individual policy areas that advocates, analysts, and educators are watching closely. These include the long-term goals, how states will measure school quality beyond test scores and graduation rates, and how states will grade schools.

The 74 Million, 10/4/18

Small charter schools among big winners in nearly $400 million in new Ed Dept grants

The Education Department has awarded nearly $400 million in grants to help start, expand, and finance new charter schools. The federal charter school grant program has seen some of the biggest funding increases of any federal Education Department grant in recent years. Congress allotted $440 million, a 10 percent increase, for fiscal 2019. Though last year’s winners included a who’s who of big-name charter school organizations like Success Academies and IDEA Public Schools, the 32 school grantees this year are smaller, like the York Academy Regional Charter School Program in York, Pennsylvania, which is expanding to a full K-12 school with an International Baccalaureate program. The grantees won a total of $29.5 million to be given over up to five years.