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Indiana University Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, 2/1/17

Report: A comparison of state-funded pre-K programs, lessons for Indiana

Most of the ten states provide funding for pre-K via general revenue funds, but a few use lottery funding…By contrast, the three states with the lowest levels of total funding (Nebraska, Ohio, and South Carolina) also enrolled the fewest children. An increase in total funding and consideration of funding sources in addition to the state’s general revenue fund are recommended for expanding access to pre-K in Indiana. This may include funding options available through federal grant.

Washington Post, 2/14/17

Opinion: A chance for charter schools to finally break through in Virginia

The plan is carefully framed to deal with some of the objections that have undermined past efforts to reform the charter law. School systems with fewer than 3,000 students would be excluded, negating concerns that a charter could have a severe impact on small school divisions. Public charter schools would have no claim to local funding, and existing schools would continue operations unaltered, without loss of needed resources or local control.

CT Mirror, 2/17/17

Conn. education funding reform: More for the cities — or maybe less

The governor proposes allowing municipalities facing “financial hardship” to cut spending on low-achieving schools starting next school year. Malloy would leave it up to municipal leaders to determine how to spend the additional revenue they would get from his budget. The governor also proposes the state’s share of school construction project costs be scaled back and that state spending on after-school and summer school programs that provide tutoring for students be significantly cut. Additionally, he proposes cities and towns pick up one-third of the cost of providing retired teachers and other school staff with pensions, and he proposes a new way to fund special education.

The Atlantic, 2/14/17

States are investing more in higher education

A new report finds that state funding for higher education continues to show growth overall, but each state has its own tale to tell. Support for higher education in state budgets rose by 3.4 percent across the country from the 2015-16 to 2016-17 fiscal years, preliminary data from the latest Grapevine survey shows.

Las Vegas Sun, 2/2/17

Study suggests changes to reduce school construction

Nevada – To avoid the cost of building new schools, districts should consider 12-month school years or double sessions, an efficiency study proposes…The commission recommends more authority and decision-making at the school level instead of the district central office. There should be a review at least every three years by districts to determine if programs are leading to increased student achievement, the commission said. And a fund should be established to help districts finance construction and maintenance of schools, the study recommended.

Chicago Sun-Times, 2/20/17

Hispanic CPS schools’ budgets cut twice the rate of white ones

Schools with at least 51 percent Hispanic students saw 1.8 percent of their total budgets frozen, on average — that’s about twice the average rate of 0.9 percent frozen at schools with at least 51 percent of white students, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of the freezes. The schools that lost the highest percentage of their remaining spending power — 1.8 percent on average — also serve the very poorest children, where nine out of 10 students qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch that is shorthand for school poverty.

Governing Magazine, 2/1/17

Universal pre-k is hard to find and harder to fund

Only three states — Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma — have what could be called truly universal programs in that they’re available to all 4-year-olds, regardless of parental income. The three states offer examples of the different ways in which the program’s funding source can affect its future.

Chiefs for Change and Education Resource Strategies, 2/10/17

Report: Using ESSA to advance equity and excellence

When Congress passed ESSA in 2015, it created a requirement that states report per-pupil spending levels at both the district and individual school levels, disaggregating federal, state, and local funds, as well as personnel and non-personnel expenditures.  In the coming months of 2017, states have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and a commitment to equity and excellence by not just complying with the requirement, but by designing and implementing a methodology that will allow districts to use data to make strategic and smart decisions for the equitable distribution of resources.