That's a very real question, especially after reading this post from the Association of School Business Officials. During a recent U.S Department of Education webinar geared toward districts, 48 percent of those who participated said they were somewhat concerned about spending their money before the clock strikes midnight on Sept. 30, 2011. That's the deadline for spending $10 billion in Title I and $12 billion in special education dollars. Of that money, districts have $6 billion in Title I funds (not counting school improvement grants) waiting to be spent, according to the latest Education Department data from June 18. ...


A group of 83 House Democrats has sketched out what its members would like to see in the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the current version of which is the No Child Left Behind Act. The group, called the Progressive Caucus, includes some of the most liberal members of Congress. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, who is pretty much The Man in Charge when it comes to the House version of ESEA reauthorization, is a member, but it's tough to say just how many of the group's ideas he ...


The Education Department has made good on promises to disclose more data on the 1,600-plus applicants for the $650 million Investing in Innovation, or i3, fund. Officials have created a user-friendly Web portral that allows you to splice the information apart in dozens of ways. You can examine the data by geography, and figure out where the biggest—or smallest—concentrations of potential winners are located. You can see who applied for each tier of grants, how much money they want, and who their budget partners are. You can examine the applications by type of applicant, which allows you...


Despite support from big-name congressional Democrats, the administration, and the very energetic lobbying efforts of a number of education groups, the edujobs bill still has not made it to legislative prime-time. Conservative and moderate Democrats, as well as Republicans, are questioning the impact of the legislation's $23 billion price tag on the federal deficit. And the measure may, for now, be in (indirect) competition with another bill also aimed at steadying faltering state finances, a $24 billion measure offering Medicaid aid to states. That money is nearly as important to education as the edujobs bill, some advocates tell me, because ...


Longtime U.S. Department of Education official Joseph Conaty will take over as interim director of the Race to the Top now that Joanne Weiss is moving up the chain and becoming chief of staff to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Conaty, who has served in many roles since coming to the department in 1987, is currently the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education's director of academic Improvement and teacher quality programs. He'll take over the post July 4 and will temporarily be in charge of both the high-profile $4 billion state competition, and the $350 million assessment competition. If you'll ...


When I talked to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan earlier this week about the transition in his chief of staff post, he talked about the broader shift in the department: from policy formation to policy implementation. Designing and executing the competitions around Race to the Top and the Investing in Innovation Fund are only a small part of the battle for the department as it pursues its reform agenda. Next comes implementation. States and i3 winners must make these reforms happen, and the department must hold them accountable. To that end, the department needs some outside help. For ...


Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains a goal for education leaders in Congress, but there's still no firm time frame.


Check out my interview with Margot Rogers, who is leaving her post as Arne Duncan's chief of staff after 18 months. She's giving up her Blackberry and hitting the beach for the summer before figuring out what's next. And given her extensive education policy background, Rogers should have no problem landing a plum gig. Her one big regret? Not sticking around to see ESEA get reauthorized. (But can anyone blame her for not waiting? Reauthorization might still be a long way off...)...


I'm sure you've heard by now that the White House, which some folks said wasn't going after the edujobs money with sufficient gusto, sent a letter, on a weekend no less, to congressional leaders asking them to please pass legislation to stave off what some warn could be 300,000 teacher layoffs. A couple of things to note here: *The version of the edujobs bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December, was set to provide $23 billion, but the letter doesn't specify an amount. Still, published reports say this is an ask for $50 billion in ...


First it was Richard Simmons, getting Congress to exercise. Now Rachael Ray is lending her star power to the House Education and Labor Committee's effort to revamp school nutrition programs. Apparently, she thinks a bill introduced today by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the committee, is yummo and delish. Ray, who participated up in a press conference on Capitol Hill today to roll out the legislation, asked the audience to imagine what it is like for a child to go hungry. "The difference an apple or a good school lunch makes to these kids ... it's more than just ...


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