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Budget and ESEA Proposals Released

The Obama administration is seeking to revamp adequate yearly progress, the main vehicle for gauging student progress under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, according to budget documents. It would be replaced with a system that measures whether students are ready for college and careers.

The total budget for fiscal year 2011 would be $49.7 billion, as compared to last year's $46.8 billion. Those totals include a proposal, also released last year, that would move Pell Grants to the mandatory side of the ledger, meaning they wouldn't be subject to the whims of the appropriations process.

The budget also includes a $3 billion increase in competitive funding for ESEA. That includes $1.35 billion to continue Race to the Top, plus $500 million for the Investing in Innovation Fund, which is meant to scale up promising practices.

And it would include $950 million in competitive grants to states and school districts that build comprehensive systems to recruit, prepare, retain, and reward effective teachers and principals. We don't have all the details yet, but it would seem that at least some of the money for the competitive teacher-quality program would come from consolidating other funding streams. (Last week, the Department announced that it would consolidate 38 programs into 11 under the budget.)

The budget also includes $210 million for Promise Neighborhoods, to help communities create schools that are bolstered by other support services, such as health programs, pre-kindergarten, and college counseling.

More updates when we have them!

UPDATE: We still don't have all the details yet. But if you remember, last week the Education Department said it would seek an additional $1 billion from Congress if ESEA is reauthorized. That money would be for Title I grants to districts, state assessments, and a revamped version of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which now pays for after-school programs and tends to be popular with Congress.

It also looks like Title I would have a new name under the administration's yet-to-be-unveiled reauthorization proposal. It would be called College-and-Career Ready Students. In one of the summary documents posted by the OMB, it looks like that program would get $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2011, about the same level Title I received in fiscal year 2010. But we don't have all the details yet, so it's tough to say if that amount would go to the same activities and flow through the same formula as Title I.

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