Education Report December 4, 2009


1. Budget and Appropriations
-Members of Congress returned to Washington after an unexpectedly brief Thanksgiving Recess to be confronted with a legislative calendar that includes "working weekends" through Christmas Eve.
-In the Senate the culprit is a massive healthcare reform bill that will require weeks of debate.
-In the House the overhaul of the financial services industry and a new multi-billion dollar job creation bill will keep Members and staff working 24-7. For education advocates, the bill may make investments in education jobs and systems as well as public works money dedicated to school construction. Education advocates are very optimistic.
-Hope that action on the ever-pending reconciliation bill and passage of an omnibus budget bill will take place before the current continuing resolution expires on December 18th.

2. ED Releases Guidance on School Improvement Grants
-Last week the Department of education released its latest guidance related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) investment in education.
-On Thursday the ED announced the final requirements for the $3.5 billion made available by ARRA for Title I School Improvement Grants. Applications are available and due February 8, 2010.
-States will be distributed these funds via formula, and awarded to districts on a competitive basis.

The full list of requirements and final application can be found at http://www.ed.gov/programs/sif/applicant.html.

3. NGA and CCSSO Update Community on Common Standards Effort
-Last Wednesday, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) invited the education community to a forum to discuss progress on the Common Core Standards Initiative.
-CCSSO and NGA told attendees that the final standards would be completed and released soon and that the K-12 standards will quickly follow.

For more information on the initiative, visit: http://www.corestandards.org.

4. In Brief
-Educate to innovate unveiled
-Aspen Institute hosts Duncan at Innovation Economy Conference
-CCS hosts webinar on Community Schools and RTT
-ED Week hosts discussion of data on Improving Achievement
-College Summit and Center for American Progress release report

Be sure to also check out sections #5 (New Publications) and #6 (In the News) for articles of interest.

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