Posts Tagged ‘stimulus’

President Urges Investment in Skills and Education in State of Union Address

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In a State of the Union address that focused mainly on the economy, President Obama outlined measures already taken by his administration – ARRA, bank bailouts, unemployment benefits – and those he wishes to undertake in the coming year to address the financial crisis.  In calling for a new jobs bill, the president said that jobs must be the number one focus of 2010.

As countries like China and Germany are revamping their economies and rebuilding their infrastructures, President Obama declared, “I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”  To that end, the president urged a greater investment in the skills and education of Americans.  Among the proposed and existing initiatives in that area:

Regarding the community college bill that has already passed the House, the president said: “Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.”

As we told you yesterday, President Obama proposed freezing all non-security federal discretionary spending for three years as part of his plan to reduce the deficit.  He said the administration will invest in what the country needs and cut what we don’t need, promising to use his veto power if necessary.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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ED releases ARRA grant applications, more to come

Monday, July 27th, 2009

The Education Department July 24 released draft language for its $4.35 billion centerpiece education reform grant program, among others; and announced its plans to soon follow up with guidance and applications for the remaining federal grants under the FY 2009 and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
The language in the programs’ guidance and applications establish the expectations and parameters in which the education community, including CTE, must adhere to in order to compete for the unprecedented amount of funding the Obama Administration is injecting into the education system over the next several years. Stakeholders speculate that the language will reflect a framework for the Obama Administration’s plans for the reauthorization of the No Child left Behind Act.
President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the draft application for the Race to the Top Fund via a live Web cast today. The public has 30 days to comment on the fund’s proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. ED plans to offer grants in two phases. Phase one will open late in calendar year 2009. Phase two will open in late spring 2010.
ED also released applications for the $315 million from the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems program, which would fund states that expand data systems to track students’ achievement from pre-K through postsecondary and link their achievement to teachers and principals. Applications for these funds are being posted today.
Finally, ED also published proposed requirements, definitions, and approval criteria for Phase two of the $48 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which permits states to apply funding to some education-related use. Phase two provides access to $12 billion, the remaining amount offered to states after phase one. The public has 30 days to comment on the proposal.
In coming weeks, ED said it will publish draft regulations on the:
•$650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, which supports partnerships among school districts and nonprofits to launch or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve academic achievement overall.
•$297 million Teacher Incentive Fund, which targets programs in which states and districts create or expand performance pay and teacher advancement models that reward teachers and principals for increases in student achievement and the number of effective educators working with traditionally underperforming students.
•$3.5 billion Title I School Improvement Grants. ED would support states’ efforts in reform efforts implemented in struggling schools and that focus on implementing turnaround models in the lowest-performing schools. Secretary Duncan set a goal of turning around the bottom 5 percent of schools in the next five years.
•$919 million State Educational Technology Grants, which could be used to bring technology equipment into the classroom.
ED will host a Webinar 2 p.m. today to review ARRA programs funded through ED. Public is welcome to participate. Registration is required.

By Erin in Legislation, Public Policy
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ED announces Race to The Top application draft

Friday, July 24th, 2009

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the draft application for the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund at 12:15 EST today via a live Web cast.
The application draft for the program, which was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been much anticipated by the education community as it is a significant amount of funding dedicated to a broad range of programs that can demonstrate effective reform.
Thus far, the draft indicates that it will award state grants for past accomplishments and create incentives for future improvement in four critical areas of reform: adopting rigorous standards and assessments; recruiting and retaining effective teachers, especially in classrooms where they are needed most; turning around low-performing schools; and establishing data systems to track student achievement and teacher effectiveness.
The public has 30 days to comment on the fund’s proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. ED plans to offer grants in two phases. Phase one will open late in calendar year 2009. Phase two will open in late spring 2010.
Also speaking at the Friday Web cast will be Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association; Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Foundation and the Superintendent of KIPP Houston; Eric Smith, Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida; and Matthew Austin, a student at Washington D.C’s Howard University Public Charter Middle School of Mathematics and Science.

By Erin in Public Policy
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