CONGRESS DELAYS EDUCATION FUNDING DECISIONS: Short-Term Measure Funds Government Into March, Ensures Greater Role for Republicans in negotiations: With the clock running out on 2010 and members of Congress still unable to come to an agreement on the final appropriations bills that would determine 2011 spending levels for the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the federal government funded through March 4, 2011. This temporary funding mechanism means that Congress and President Obama could spend much of the first months of 2011 trying to finish the spending decisions that were supposed to be completed in 2010.
WHILE YOU WERE OUT: Alliance Webinar Examines 2010 Lame Duck Session and Possible ESEA Reauthorization in 2011: During a January 7 webinar, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, and members of the Alliance’s federal advocacy team reviewed the 2010 lame duck session in greater detail and previewed possible congressional action on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 2011.
IMPLEMENTING GRADUATION COUNTS: NGA Report Finds Forty-Eight States on Track to Use a Common Formula to Report High School Graduation Rates for Class of 2011: Forty-eight states are on track to report high school graduation rates for the Class of 2011 using a common formula, according to a recent report from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). In 2005, governors of all fifty states signed the National Governors Association Graduation Counts Compact to implement a common graduation rate formula, commit to building state data collections and reporting capacities, develop additional student outcome indicators, and report annual progress about graduation and dropout rates.
SLOW AND UNEVEN PROGRESS IN NARROWING GAPS: New Report Examines State Test Score Trends, Finds States Have Long Way to Go in Closing Achievement Gaps: Every major student subgroup has made progress on state reading and math exams in at least two-thirds of the states, according to a new report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP). At the same time, however, achievement gaps remain large and persistent, and at the current rate of progress, it will take most states a decade or more to close their gaps completely.
Report Finds One-Third of Schools and Districts Fail to Make Adequate Yearly Progress: About 33 percent of the nation’s schools did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in 2008–09 school year, according to a recently released report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP). This marks a slight improvement from the year before, but trails the 2006–07 school year when 28 percent of schools failed to make AYP. Meanwhile, the report finds that the percentage of school districts not making AYP have risen steadily from 29 percent during the 2005–06 school year to 36 percent in the 2008–09 school year.
2011 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESSES: New Hampshire and New York Serve as Contrasting Case Studies of Recession’s Effects: Issued last month by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers, The Fiscal Survey of States finds that state budget revenues should see a slight improvement in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 as revenues are expected to grow slightly. However, the report also warns that most states will still face significant budget gaps. Further complicating matters, the federal money provided to plug state budget gaps through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is unlikely to continue. According to the report, the wind down of these flexible funds in FY 2012 will result in a funding cliff of more than $65 billion.