With $3 billion on the table, now is the time to design a competitive Rave to the Top application for your district. At ASBO's American Recovery & Reinvestment Act Update Workshop on September 24 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, you'll
Register now to stay on the cutting edge of how to keep cuts away from the classroom and make the most this opportunity.
As California Races to the Top, some Californians are biting their nails in anticipation of the race results for their state.
This editorial from the LA Times notes: "The worrisome part of the Race to the Top program is reflected in its very name — it is indeed a race to reform, quickly and dramatically, with inadequate attention to conducting pilot studies or discerning what research shows to work or not work in schools."
“The American story is all about extraordinary people who meet the challenges of their times with determination, courage and vision. From the heroes of the American Revolution to the heroes of our transformative social movements -- our nation was shaped by bold men and women who overcome resistance, fear and dissent to build alliances that advance our collective welfare. …
…Today, in the field of public education, this moment is upon us and I am not the first to say it. From journalists and educators to politicians and parents -- there is a growing sense that a quiet revolution is underway in our homes and schools, classrooms and communities. …
…It is driven by great educators and administrators who are challenging the defeatism and inertia that has trapped generations of children in second-rate schools. They know that every child can learn in a school culture where parents are engaged, teachers are respected and principals are empowered.”
Read the full version Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s speech about education reform and the Race to the Top finalists or watch the video on C-SPAN.
Or can we all win when it comes to education? That's what many civil rights organizations are advocating. And they're not sure that's what's happening with Race to the Top because many minority students are in "losing" states.
The Department of Education is listening. Secretary Duncan met with eight civil rights organizations earlier this week.
"I think [federal officials] really need to look at what we say about Race to the Top and competitive grants,” said Barbara R. Arnwine, the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the groups behind the new education framework. “We believe education is a civil right, and that means that everybody should have that right. There shouldn’t be winners and losers. That whole concept should be out of that discussion.”
We’re all familiar with layoffs going on in our schools as the stimulus money reaches the funding cliff. But how is your district approaching the process?
While it might be natural to let go the less effective employees, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, most districts are saying goodbye to the newest employees. Dubbed a “dark cloud on the horizon” for education reformers in this Newsweek article, this old school process could undermine the impact of Race to the Top.
But the Windy City is breaking from tradition and proposing to fire the most incompetent teachers first. Read more about the city’s plan and what other schools are doing.
This coming school year, a whopping 75% of the nation’s school districts are expected to cut teaching job. That’s up from 45% last year, even with the stimulus money.
Before you send students out with cans to collect money, read Center for Education Policy’s report, School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package. This report covers the successes and the challenges districts are experiencing.
Or do you have any creative ways to bring more funding that you want to share?
Remember that $10 billion dollars to save teacher jobs we told you about earlier? Are you curious just what your state might get if the $10B goes through? Well don't go spending it just yet, but preliminary numbers are out. Download Projected Education Jobs Fund Allocations-20100706.
If you purchased equipment or property with your district’s ARRA funds, you’ll want to tune in to this Department of Education webinar, “Equipment and Property Management,” on Monday, July 26 at 2:00 p.m.
This presentation will outline federal guidance and requirements for the oversight and management of equipment and property purchased using ARRA funds. Other topics to be discussed will include:
The House of Representatives voted to take $800 million from key administration initiatives to help avert teacher layoffs. So are they robbing the Race to the Top bank, or doing what must be done to save jobs?
Read more about the recent vote that the White House threatens to veto in this Education Week article.
Have you ever played “Would You Rather,” a game where you are presented with an impossible situation and have to choose between equally awful options? Well, we all might be playing that game with education now. Instead of choosing between losing an arm or a leg, politicians are trying to make us choose between jobs and quality education.
According to the Washington Post, Rep. David R. Obey (D), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, wants to funnel money away from Race to the Top to save education jobs.
The Department of Education wants both. The same Post article quotes ED assistant secretary Peter Cunningham: "We think that jobs and reform are both needed to keep our economy strong -- short term and long term."
So what's it going to be--an arm or a leg?
Several school districts have lost interest, interest on their loans. Right about now, 0% APR could do a lot of good in schools.
In Wisconsin, 56 school districts will get $120.5 million for renovation and construction, thanks to the ARRA's Qualified School Construction Bonds. Find out how some of the schools will be spending that money.
The U.S. might be out of the World Cup, but the game goes on. There's another important tournament going on, one that we must win: the tournament for education funding. Another team might be eliminated soon.
Oregon is in jeopardy of losing a half billion dollars in federal stimulus money for education. The Oregonian reports:
"Under the U.S. Department of Education's State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Oregon received $570 million for three years ending in June 2011.
To keep that money, the state must maintain its financial support for public schools and higher education at or above 2006 levels – what government calls a sufficient 'maintenance of effort.'
The governor on Tuesday ordered 9 percent across-the-board budget cuts to adjust to a $577 million hole in the budget resulting from the recession and declining state revenue. His order shaves state support for higher education in next year's budget below 2006 levels by about $32 million."
As we move the next round of Race to the Top, will injuries like this keep states from advancing? Or will we have to wait another four years to recover?
As the deadlines to spend ARRA funds approach, some school districts still have big bills left in their wallets. In a recent Department of Education webinar, more than 48% of the participants said they are somewhat concerned about spending their money before the deadlines.
Titled, Strategic Use of Title I & IDEA: How To Maximize ARRA FY09 and FY10 Funds, that webinar, co-presented by ASBO members, covered ways school districts can maximize the impact of Title I and IDEA funding and minimize the post-ARRA "funding cliff."
Check out the ideas they came up with about how you can use ARRA funds to improve the achievement of students eligible to be served under Title I and IDEA funding.
Use of IDEA ARRA funds for students with disabilities:
Use of Title 1 ARRA Funds for at-risk students:
The left foot is in, but the right foot is out. As states enter round two of Race to the Top, some states have won over the unions. But the districts aren’t all onboard.
"Although the changes made in applications from the first to the second round varied widely from state to state, union buy-in increased on average by 22 percentage points, with states such as Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin making big leaps.
"At the same time, the overall level of district support and students affected in the 30 applications barely budged, mostly owing to California’s loss of support from about 500 districts representing nearly 2 million students. That negated progress other states made in improving buy-in."
To best compete, states need all stakeholders on the same page. That’s what it’s all about.
You might be able to get more than a good feel for giving back to your community.
If your schools are known as the center of your community, open to everyone -- all day, every day, evenings and weekends—check out the Department of Education's Full Service Community Schools grant.
Apply now to bring funds to your district. And find out how to incorporate the community school strategy into your district’s education reform.
Laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, maybe that’s the approach Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took when he announced that California was submitting a new bid for Race to the Top.
"The school superintendents who prepared the bid deserved an Oscar 'for the great performance in putting this together,' he said, thanking several by name, including Carlos A. Garcia, the San Francisco superintendent.
'It’s supported just about by everybody,' Mr. Schwarzenegger added.
That, too, was meant to be a joke."
As in many states, critics in California see Race to the Top as an attack on teachers. But they need the funding. Garcia, who was flippantly thanked by the governor, argues that school districts want to be part of a partnership, not what he perceives to be the federal government’s “my way or the highway” approach.
How's your experience? Maybe your state will get to say, "I'll be back" for the next round of Race to the Top.
Should ineffective teachers lose their jobs? Colorado says yes.
In its quest to compete in Race to the Top, the state passed a law that requires school principals to evaluate teachers, tying at least half of their rating to student achievement. The law also says that tenured teachers who perform badly for two years in a row can lose their job security. Several lawmakers wept in public sessions in their attempt to stop the law, reports The New York Times.
Are you reaching for tissues or applauding this change?
When you’re in the trenches of stimulus reporting, wouldn’t you like to have a guide to show you the way? Here’s your chance for that help.
The Department of Education is holding the webinar, Data Quality & Recordkeeping, “Avoiding Reporting Pitfalls” on Monday, June 7, at 2:00p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
As the demand for transparency with the use of taxpayers’ money hits a new high, you need to be at your best. This presentation will help you improve the quality of your data collection and analysis, to meet the reporting requirements of their federal grants, as well as the requirements for retaining records related to grant activities and expenditures.
And don’t miss the inside scoop on common data quality pitfalls that GAO, ED’s OIG, and OMB have identified during reviews of ARRA Section 1512 reports.
More than 80% of school districts expect to lay off school staff. It’s time to “Speak Up” for our schools and for our students.
NEA is sponsoring a national "Speak Up" day on Wednesday, May 26, for educators and friends of education to call upon Congress to fund the education jobs bill.
Visit the Speak Up Facebook page, or call 866/608-6355 for a recorded message with information and the option of being connected to your member of Congress.