SEE YOU NEXT YEAR: Congress Wraps Up for 2006, Delays Education Funding Decisions to 2007: At the beginning of last week, Congress had only passed two of the eleven FY 2007 appropriations bills that fund various government agencies. Facing a choice between additional weeks of contentious debate on the remaining appropriations bills, or a stopgap spending resolution that would temporarily fund federal programs into next year, the Republican leadership chose the latter during a brief session of Congress last week. The task of finishing the remaining FY 2007 spending bills now falls to Democrats, who will assume control of both chambers of Congress in January. The continuing resolution that Congress passed just before midnight on December 8 will expire on February 15, 2007.
HEALTHIER AND WEALTHIER: Ensuring that Every Student Graduates from High School Could Save More than $17 Billion, According to New Alliance Brief: If the approximately 1.2 million young people who are expected to drop out of school in the United States this year were to earn their diploma instead, states could save more than $17 billion in heath care costs over the course of those young people’s lifetimes. So says Healthier and Wealthier: Decreasing Health Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment, a new brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education that was funded by MetLife Foundation.
ADDRESSING AMERICA’S DROPOUT CHALLENGE: New Report Calls for Federal Role in Raising Graduation Rates: A new report from the Center for American Progress and Jobs for the Future calls for an investment of $1 billion to $1.5 billion annually to raise high school graduation rates and close the graduation gap within the next five years. The report, Addressing America’s Dropout Challenge: State Efforts to Boost Graduation Rates Require Federal Support, argues that increased federal support can provide a boost to state and local efforts to end the dropout problem.
NGA TASK FORCE TO ADDRESS AMERICAN INNOVATION, COMPETITIVENESS: Earlier this month, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced the creation of a seventeen-member task force that will guide Innovation America, the 2006–07 Chair’s initiative of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (D). “To maximize our strengths in this increasingly global environment, governors must partner with the business and academic communities to ensure state policies complement and reinforce private [sector] innovation,” Napolitano said. “The Innovation America task force provides an outstanding forum for these groups to work together to enhance our economic competitiveness.”