February 2009 Archives

Click here to learn more about those school improvement dollars and whether the funds can be used to pay for transportation.

The president is looking to expand pre-K programs, charter schools, and need-based college aid.

The president's proposed 2010 budget being released today would eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan Program by 2010. That would be a huge change—the equivalent of a nuclear bomb going off in the higher education loan world.

The education department expects to release formal guidance to states and school districts next week that will spell out how to access the money, and what the expectations will be.

Democratic leaders have been sitting on this bill for months, waiting for a Democratic president to sign it.

From guest blogger Erik Robelen: His office may be smaller, but Marshall (Mike) S. Smith, a veteran education official from the Clinton era, is back at 400 Maryland Ave. in downtown Washington. As of last month, Smith has returned to the Education Department's headquarters as a senior adviser to Secretary Arne Duncan. “I’m working with a team on the implementation of the stimulus package, which is a big part of my time, and other duties as requested by the secretary,” said Smith, who served as both the undersecretary and acting deputy secretary at the federal agency for seven years ...

Obama set a new goal--that by 2020, the United States will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

See how states and districts can spend their stabilization dollars.

After the excitement of the stimulus, Congress is finally getting back around to the regular budget bill for this fiscal year, which started back on Oct. 1.

The Democrats for Education Reform's stimulus suggestions give a good indication of how the school reform crowd might want the feds to use the stimulus dollars to leverage change.

Here's our second installment of answers to your stimulus questions.

Politics K-12's own Michele McNeil will be on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program this weekend interviewing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with the Associated Press' Libby Quaid. (Quaid along with Edweek's Steve Sawchuk and Dakarai Aarons, landed a coveted spot on Alexander Russo's Hot For Education list). Michele asked Duncan when the department would be sending out the stimulus checks to states and school districts (probably the number one question on school officials' minds). Duncan said districts would be receiving their money and guidance as soon as possible. And Michele pressed him on whether the Department could enforce the teacher effectiveness ...

The education department has estimates on how much each school district will get from the stimulus package in Title I and special education funding.

Linda Darling-Hammond, who was widely rumored for a top job in the U.S. Department of Education, told me today that she is going to stay in California and support President Barack Obama's agenda in her role as an education professor and researcher at Stanford University. Darling-Hammond, who has done extensive research on teacher quality and international benchmarking, said she will be working to establish a new policy center at the University that will examine a variety of education redesign issues, including standards and assessments, teacher quality, and educational equity in the U.S. and abroad. She has also been ...

The Sunshine State is one of a handful that says it can't meet the maintenance of effort requirements in the economic stimulus package, which mandate that states keep education funding at 2006 levels in order to receive the cash. The law allows U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to waive maintenance of effort requirements for states that are in particularly dire fiscal straits. On a conference call last week with the media, an Education Department consultant told a reporter from Florida that the department wasn't going to issue blanket waivers and was going to look at each state on ...

If you're trying to make sense of the $787 billion stimulus package, and what it means for education, Politics K-12 wants to help.

The secretary will use the Education Department's longstanding show for parents to train the spotlight on high-performing charter schools.

Stimulus money gives the new administration "credibility" with the public and with educators, many of whom have criticized Congress for not providing enough funding for the law, the education chairman said.

The bill would provide about $100 billion for education programs.

The new U.S. Secretary of Education, who is still putting together his team, has been handed unprecedented resources, and an unprecedented management challenge.

Duncan singled this lobbying quintet out for their work on stimulus-related issues in a conference call to about 500 people from education organizations.

The state stabilization fund must first be used by states to backfill any cuts they have made to both K-12 and higher education.

School districts looking for a big pot of money from which to draw for their construction projects will probably be disappointed.

The $53.6 billion state fiscal stabilization fund could be used for school renovations.

Still being sorted out is exactly how much money is going to school modernization and state budget stabilization funds.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told reporters that a deal in the works would restore at least some of the funding cut from the Senate bill for school repair and modernization.

School construction funds and increased education aid to states were still in play as congressional negotiators worked on a compromise for the economic stimulus bill.

The Great GOP Divide among governors was on display yesterday as Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared with President Obama during a pep-rally stop in the Sunshine State to tout the economic stimulus package. Florida's schools have been among the hardest hit across the country as cuts have forced them to lay off teachers and trim programs. Legislative leaders predict next year's state budget deficit could reach $5 billion, and already, the governor has pushed through a $2.5 billion package of cuts for this budget year and next. Given his state's dire straits—with a huge home foreclosure crisis ...

The bill, which would provide some $80 billion for education programs, now goes to conference with a House version that would include $140 billion for schools and colleges

U.S. education secretary, Arne Duncan went to Arlington, Va.'s Wakefield High School as part of a public relations push to get Congress to restore $16 billion in school construction money eliminated from the Senate version of the economic stimulus package.

As Congress is poised to spend at least $80 billion on education programs—and possibly much more—President Barack Obama said that more money for schools must be followed by more reform.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will turn up the pressure on Congress to fund school construction during a visit tomorrow to a Virginia high school slated for renovation in 2013.

The Senate's original bill would have provided between $120 billion and $140 billion for education. The amendment would dial that back to about $80 billion.

Rumor has it that, compared with the original Senate version, the deal now on the table would sizably scale back increases to education.

Here's a roundup of stories to tide you over while you're waiting for the verdict on the stimulus package...

I've heard from folks up on the Hill that an amendment to be introduced by Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, could significantly scale back the nearly $140 billion education funding in the Senate's version of the proposed economic stimulus package. The items targeted include at least $24.8 billion to be cut from the $79 billion State Stabilization Fund, $6.75 billion out of the more than $13 billion for special education, $6.5 billion from Title I out of $13 billion, and $50 million from the proposed $100 million Teacher Quality Enhancement grant program. Advocates are ...

First, there was Broader, Bolder, then there was Education Equality. Now, there's a new consensus. At a two-day summit in Washington, a group of 14 education policy leaders, including Linda Darling-Hammond, the NEA’s John I. Wilson, and two former governors, pieced together a set of six recommendations to President Obama. The forum was sponsored by the HOPE Foundation, a Bloomington, Ind.-based organization that works to support education leaders. (A complete roster of the group is pasted at the end of this item. They're pictured in the photo at left, which is courtesy of the HOPE Foundation. Click to ...

The education department announced today that President Obama has nominated Education Trust vice president Russlynn Ali as the new assistant secretary for civil rights. The EdTrust, of course, is very pro-accountability and championed NCLB as it was being written. And, Ali has done a lot of work on teacher quality and compensation issues. She's also the executive director of the group's West Coast arm, Education Trust-West. Of course, we're still waiting for the official word on who will be Duncan's deputy secretary....

President Obama continued his pitch for the economic stimulus package today, even as the Senate debates the future of this mega-billion-dollar package. His audience this afternoon, in addition to the media, was a class of 2nd graders at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington. (This, by the way, was a school Sara Mead of the New America Foundation suggested the president look at for his own kids.) This marks his first official school visit as president. And, as a colleague so astutely pointed out, his first visit is to a charter school. Is he making a statement? According to ...

It's a busy day on the North side of the Capitol. The Senate is debating its $888 billion version of the economic stimulus package, with an eye towards passing it by the end of the week and getting it to President Barack Obama for his signature And former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.C., pulled himself out of the running for Secretary of Health and Human Services because of problems with unpaid taxes. So far, Republicans in the Senate seem to be echoing many of the arguments against the stimulus made by their colleagues in the House: That much of the ...

For those wondering which regulations new education secretary Arne Duncan might have his eye one, make sure the new graduation rate rules are on your list. One of the last things former education secretary Margaret Spellings did was usher through new regulations establishing a uniform way of calculating graduation rates across states, similar to what the governors voluntarily agreed to do in 2005. At issue is what defines a high school graduate, at least for accountability and statistical purposes. Should a high school get credit just for students who get a diploma within four years? What about those who take ...

First lady Michelle Obama dropped by the Department of Education this afternoon for a meet-and-greet/pep rally to honor career employees, the first in what's supposed to be a series of such sessions at various cabinet agencies. The roughly 350 employees who gathered for the event cheered, applauded, and used cellphone cameras to take pictures of the first lady. Seventeen of the agency's longest-serving employees, some of whom have spent decades at the department, stood behind Obama as she spoke. —Christopher Powers/Education Week "I am a product of your work," she told the crowd. "I wouldn't be here if ...

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