Let's move to K-12 public policy and the next fake progressive policy being made to look friendly to the 80% of Democratic base of labor and justice but as with all fake Clinton neo-liberal 'progressive' policy -----it will do the opposite of what is told. This is the Head Start and pre-K funding that is supposed to give our children the early jump on education. Education advocates and parents have tried for decades to rebuild the funding for these programs from progressive liberals like Kennedy and Johnson---McGovern and Shriver----that were systematically defunded through the Reagan/Clinton years. So, do Wall Street Clinton global corporate neo-liberals really have an interest in building strong pre-K education that we all know is good?
OF COURSE NOT. WHERE DID HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN EDUCATION FUNDING IN OBAMA'S LAST TERM IN OFFICE GO?
That's right-----building the privatized structures handing public schools to private education corporations and paying corporate consultants tons of money to install Race to the Top and Common Core-----which of course was a complete disaster and not wanted all around the country. It was breath-taking how so much money that could have simply gone to the public schools and classrooms moved right into the profit margins of education corporations.
Do you really think this next round of funding has anything to do with quality education for children----This article below shows signs of why this will be another fiasco moving money around to build more corporate structures in the education system. First, as I make the connection with the China education system Clinton and Bush global corporate pols are trying to install here in the US----China starts testing and tracking their children in pre-school. So, these pre-K funds will simply extend the testing and evaluation from Race to the Top to pre-K structures. Again, you will see media toting all that funding coming to Maryland or Baltimore but it will end up going to yet another private corporate non-profit with a name that says 'WE LOVE PRE-K' and the children and parents will see no program or benefit. This is routine in Baltimore----Johns Hopkins has moved state and city revenue to build its global corporation and campus for decades----but it will now be coming to your communities and all that money will simply flow right back to corporations.
What Rahm did instead of handing these funding to public schools to create their own pre-K classrooms is to create another system of competing private non-profits that move the education from the public school to a private organization and/or charter school.....see the death by a thousand cuts symbolic of Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons as they kill the public sector---this time our public schools. So, we outsource the school nurse-----the school guidance counselors, the school liberarian, the PTO, and now comes the outsourcing of pre-K.
Take 5: Rahm's early childhood non-news and competing PARCC letters The Staff of Catalyst / January 08, 2015
Seven weeks ahead of Chicago’s mayoral election -- and about a week after his campaign started airing commercials touting his record on early childhood education -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference Tuesday to announce federal funding for the city’s Head Start programs. But it was hard to find the news: Yes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did send the city a check for the preschool program, but it has done that every year and for more than a decade the funding has been pretty stable. Also, the city knew it was getting the funding for weeks.
The difference this time, the mayor’s office says, is that Chicago is promised $600 million over five years and will no longer have to compete every year for it. The mayor’s office even provided a glowing letter from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell addressed to Emanuel. But again, HHS is shifting to five year cycles for every grantee, except for the most troubled of operators.
Either way, the mayor said the funding would be a crucial step forward in his goal to provide “universal” preschool for 4-year-olds citywide -- though it’s questionable how universal the goal really is. “The role model [for early childcare] will no longer be expensive babysitting--it’ll be a strong foundation of public education across the city,” he said during the press conference, after playing Bingo with a group of toddlers.
As an added political bonus, Ounce of Prevention Fund president and incoming Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner spoke at the presser, at Emanuel’s invitation. Rauner said the pursuit of expanded early childhood education would rely on “innovative public-private relationships” and strong collaboration between Springfield and City Hall.
Not to be left out, a group of community organizations and unions will hold their own press conference today to set the record straight on the federal dollars and Emanuel’s record on early childhood education. They’ll point out that enrollment in school-based preschool has actually fallen over the past two years following changes in the application process and new requirements regarding income reporting.
Remember all that competitive funding Obama made of what for all of modern history was Federal funding that came to states with no strings attached? Well, there is the pre-K and testing for our children because you know----only the best will get the education funding that everyone used to get says Obama and Clinton neo-liberals! Maryland's O'Malley of course quickly signed on as Maryland leads in corporatizing and globalizing all public education structures. This does in fact create a system that analyses in pre-school whether you child is worth investing more education funding or if your child needs to be tracked through a system of vocational tracking that will lead to poverty jobs.
NO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OR ACCESS WITH THESE CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS.
If you are from a middle-class family as I was-----I had every opportunity to access schools in my community----access plenty of publicly-funded extracurricular programs after school----to access all the public financial aid I needed to apply to any university in the nation. If my grades were good----I was just as likely to be accepted with tuition help that left me reasonably able to repay loans. This was what lifted more people out of poverty in the entire history of the world! I do not exaggerate.
Fast-forward to 3 decades of Clinton neo-liberalism dismantling the public education sector with Bush neo-cons and we have citizens graduating not able to read or do math and a defunded public school system that loses more education funding through fraud and corruption than reaches the classroom. So, Obama and Congressional neo-liberals wanted to super-size this mess to further kill the quality of schooling for 90% of Americans. We now have tons of private corporate non-profits with no oversight and accountability with many, not all, existing just to fleece the system as happens every time we privatize something.
Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 07/06/2011
Race to the Top: Standardized testing for preschoolers
By Valerie Strauss
On January 17, 2003, The Washington Post published a Page 1 story (that I wrote) about the Republican Bush administration’s plans to give 908,000 4-year-olds in Head Start programs nationwide a standardized assessment to see how much they were learning.
Critics howled. Early childhood development experts said preschoolers are too young to be evaluated by standardized tests in part because they don’t have sufficient ability to comprehend assessment cues. The plan was shelved.
Flash forward eight years. Today it’s the Democratic Obama administration that is pushing standardized assessments for preschoolers. Not only is there no loud shouting, but a gaggle of states are going to battle each other for the right to win federal funds that will help them implement the second wave of Race to the Top, early childhood version.
In the first part of Race to the Top, President Obama’s signature education initiative, 11 states and the District of Columbia collectively won $4 billion last year to push school reforms favored by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
The department recently announced the early childhood education chapter of the sweepstakes, this one promising to dispense a total of $500 million to winners who wow the judges, Duncan being the ultimate decider after lesser judges make their own recommendations.
Criteria recently released for states to consider as they write their applications get to the heart of the matter immediately:
Priority 1: Absolutely Priority — Using Early Learning and Development Standards and Kindergarten Entry Assessments to Promote School Readiness.”
(And here are the rest of the stated priorities:
Priority 2: Absolute Priority – Using Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems to Promote School Readiness
Priority 3: Competitive Preference Priority – Including all Early Learning and Development Programs in the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System Priority
4: Invitational Priority – Sustaining Program Effects in the Early Elementary Grades
Priority 5: Invitational Priority – Encouraging Private Sector Support)
There is something disturbing about an early childhood education initiative that doesn’t seem to take into account how young children learn best. Where, for example, is the priority about ensuring that all early childhood programs provide creative opportunities for kids to explore and learn? That’s how they best learn, myriad child development experts have said for years.
The institutionalization of standardized assessments for young kids threatens to turn preschool into an academic environment that is too regimented for youngsters.
I know a girl who, when given an aptitude test at age 4, refused to answer the questions because she just didn’t feel like it that day. That’s the way 4-year-olds act sometimes. She was scored as essentially having the aptitude of a monkey. That’s the way standardized assessments are, and that’s no way to judge a 4-year-old.
The Race to the Top criteria say that any assessments developed should conform with the recommendations of the National Research Council’s reports on early childhood.
One such report, published in 2008, entitled Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How,” makes clear how difficult it is to create valid assessments for young children:
“Assessments of any type must be selected and implemented with care, but special attention is needed when using direct assessments with young children. It requires greater attention to establishing a relationship with the child, to ascertaining whether the task is familiar and comprehensible to him or her, to limiting length of the session and the child’s discomfort, to recognizing the role of conditions like hunger or fatigue, and to recognizing the possibility of bias if the tester is a caregiver or otherwise connected to the child. Instruments that have the most user-appeal often do not have the best psychometric properties. For example, portfolios of children’s artistic productions contain rich information but are hard to rate reliably. In the experience of committee members, selection of instruments is often more influenced by cost, by ease of administration, and by use in other equivalent programs than by the criteria proposed here.”
It is, of course, possible that these assessments will be brilliantly constructed. I’m just not holding my breath.
Add to this the fact that all this testing will be done in private non-profit or for-profit pre-schools that children have no lasting relationship with. IT IS CRAZY STUFF!
As you see below in a nation fighting the same neo-liberal education privatization that was implemented a decade ago in Chile----the entire process of funding these structures that take all of these public education functions to private corporate non-profits is to privatize the entire process and that means busting labor and gutting quality education to simply create a cradle to adult job training system all paid with taxpayer funding. IT IS REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD.
Don't think ----that's Chile it won't happen here! This is exactly where Clinton and Bush global corporate pols are trying to take the US----to a third world status. It seems that teacher all over the world are not to be trusted to provide the kind of education needed for the 21st century---yet, our teachers led in educating US leaders that gave us the strongest economy in US history------
'Education campaigner, Diane Ravitch, recently posted a report from an education professor in Chile, which gives a devastating account of the results of the years of neo-liberal sway on the country's education system. He says:
"With one of the highest high school attendances in the world, we now find that these young people spent 12 years sitting passively at a desk, not achieving improvement even in their most basic skills . . . This does not happen by chance, it is the result of a market-based educational model, with extreme segregation based on academic and socioeconomic skimming, curricular overload, with students spending most of their time training as parrots to answer standardized tests, with public education and the teaching career virtually demolished.The basic organizational and financial rules of our model do not exist anywhere in the world and are full of perverse incentives." '
If you cannot see the starting of the same policy implementation here in the US-----you are not looking. As this article shows-----the conditions for education have children sitting a desks learning nothing with all of that Federal funding that used to provide quality public education simply flowing into corporate profits. These platforms for education reform in the US are started in cities because there are no advocates for the poor in many of these cities -----it is the US justice organizations and labor organizations that come out to support Race to the Top and Clinton neo-liberal politicians!
Chile: The World’s Most Free-Market School System: The Results
By dianeravitch October 8, 2013 /
Chilean Pre School Teachers occupy Schools
Last month's mass demonstration of students for free education
Pre-school teachers in Chile have been on strike for two weeks, demanding decent pay, and opposing plans to increase pupil teacher ratios. The teachers, who all work for the Integra Foundation, a non-profit organisation, headed by the President's wife, have taken part in demonstrations and been supported by parents.
Now the foundation has tried to break the strike by employing temporary, untrained personnel to staff the schools. Their union, SINATI, says that this move, "reveals Integra's complete ignorance as to its responsibility for the care, wellbeing and safety of children". As a result, many pre-schools have been occupied by the teachers.
Integra is planning to raise the pupil teacher ratio from 15 to 25 for two to three year olds and from 20 to 32 for three to fours. Moreover although managers were given a 10% pay rise last year, ordinary teachers got nothing. As a mother supporting the demonstration said, “If you don't make enough money to support your own family, you can't do your job properly." Integra's schools cater for some 70,000 pre-school children from the age of three months, mostly from low income homes.
This foundation is typical of the kind of privatised education, which has been pioneered in Chile ever since the violent and brutal coup which brought the dictator Pinochet to power in 1973. Since that time, the country has been the proving ground for the projects of the neo-liberal pioneer economists of the Chicago school. Milton Friedman himself advised Pinochet after the coup. Education has seen every aspect of neo-liberal 'reform' there and this foundation, providing education on the cheap for the poorest children, is just its latest iteration.
However coupled with this has been a long history of struggle both by teachers, as in this most recent case of the pre-school teachers, but also in particular from students, including school students, who have campaigned relentlessy for free, public education, and who have received mass support from communities. Many posts on this website attest to their struggle. The video above shows the latest mass protest in mid September.
Education campaigner, Diane Ravitch, recently posted a report from an education professor in Chile, which gives a devastating account of the results of the years of neo-liberal sway on the country's education system. He says:
"With one of the highest high school attendances in the world, we now find that these young people spent 12 years sitting passively at a desk, not achieving improvement even in their most basic skills . . . This does not happen by chance, it is the result of a market-based educational model, with extreme segregation based on academic and socioeconomic skimming, curricular overload, with students spending most of their time training as parrots to answer standardized tests, with public education and the teaching career virtually demolished.The basic organizational and financial rules of our model do not exist anywhere in the world and are full of perverse incentives."
This is an important lesson to teachers, whose governments are rapidly adopting these same policies all over the world. Not only are they bad for teachers, even more importantly they devalue education and provide minimal schooling for the poor. Like the teachers, students and high school students in Chile - our only option is resistance, not accommodation.
So, Kiddie Academy and Bricks 4 Kidz are already in Maryland and Baltimore ready to receive the bulk of that pre-K funding to build and expand these pre-K corporations. See why even Republicans in Congress voted to support 'pre-K'?---- As we heard in the article with Chile-----these pre-K corporations will get all of that Federal testing and evaluation money----all of that Federal pre-school funding money while public schools and classrooms are starved out of business.
Think as well what this structure will look like after the 2015 economic crash-----the government funding will end and these pre-school businesses will simply be Wall Street corporations. Notice the Chilean teachers were protesting to make pre-K a free, public education.
Kiddie Academy is the Maryland corporation created to suck up those Federal funds! Wonder who the shareholders of this national chain are? Any politicians you know?
Below you see what Obama and Congressional neo-liberals and neo-cons voted to create with the pre-school funding.
Public schools get any funding----NOT ON YOUR LIFE SAY GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS!
Sadly, it is people of color in cities being sold on this privatization to become small business owners, but they will simply be knocked out of business as the national pre-school businesses take over all the city schools---getting all of the funding.
Preschool Franchise Opportunity Guide
Preschool is often a child's introduction to the world of public or private education, and as such the preschool educator and facility play a special role in the child's future. Children's franchises that offer this type of early education can often set the stage for a child's love of learning, so for those interested in owning a franchise that provides both financial benefits and a deeply fulfilling career, preschools are an ideal choice.
You'll find there are opportunities that range from owning the children's franchise while hiring the right people to provide the care and education, to providing age-appropriate computer education as an instructor who travels from preschool to preschool. While those interested in children's franchises should universally share the ability and desire to work with children, those considering preschool business opportunities should be uniquely prepared to take on this important position.
Explore the variety of available children's franchises to learn more about preschool franchise opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about one or all of the children's franchises listed, select those franchises, then complete the franchise information request form. Franchising.com will forward your contact information to the preschool franchises you've selected, who will contact you with further information about businesses for sale and whether owning a children's preschool franchise is right for you.
Request Information Bricks 4 Kidz
Bricks 4 Kidz provides project-based programs designed to teach principles and methods of engineering to children, ages 3-12, using LEGO® bricks.
Request Information Kiddie Academy
Educational Child Care Franchise. Kiddie Academy is one of the nation's most respected providers of quality educational child care.
Request Information Kinderdance
The largest and fastest growing "Education through Dance, Gymnastics and Music" program for children.
Request Information Discovery Point
Are you seeking a fulfilling career--one that is both personally and financially satisfying? Your interest in becoming a Discovery Point Franchisee...
Bricks 4 Kidz Franchise Opportunity
History of Bricks 4 Kidz
The BRICKS 4 KIDZ model, was founded by Michelle Cote in St. Augustine, FL. Michelle started an after-school Spanish Class (outside the school system). In the Spring of 2008 while filling out the forms to become a "School Board Vendor," teaching Spanish at the school the following school year, Michelle noticed a category (on the form) for "Creative Science." Her son loves to play with Lego® bricks, and she thought to herself…"Maybe I could lead a Creative Science Lego® class too." Michelle was awarded the bid for both the after- school Spanish and the Creative Science Lego® class. That summer Michelle advertised a Spanish Camp and a Lego® Camp. She had 3 children sign up for the Spanish and 35 children sign up for the Lego® camp!
Ranked #1 Children's Enrichment Program Franchise
In Entrepreneur Magazine (January 2014 Issue)
After seeing the excitement over the Lego® bricks, Michelle decided to go with the Lego® after-school class in the fall...and it took off. That Fall, Michelle found herself at 3 different elementary schools with an average of 20 students in each class every week. In addition to teaching classes at the public schools, Michelle also taught a home school Lego® class during the day while her children were at school.
Our Model Bricks 4 Kidz provides project-based programs designed to teach principles and methods of engineering to children, ages 3-12, using LEGO® bricks.
Now, just a year later, Michelle has contracts with 10 schools in the St. Augustine area!
BRICKS 4 KIDZ has a high probability for success in your area because:
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For many people, the dream of owning their own business is just that - a dream. But it doesn't need to be. With a BRICKS 4 KIDZ franchise you can turn your dream into a reality and be your own boss, create a new career, and begin enjoying the many benefits of business ownership.
Ranked: #2 Best Personal Franchise
#5 Best New Franchise In Entrepreneur Magazine
Discovery Point Franchise Opportunity
Welcome to Discovery Point Are you seeking a fulfilling career--one that is both personally and financially satisfying? Your interest in becoming a Discovery Point Franchisee is well worth pursuing. Discovery Point is ranked in "Entrepreneur Magazine" in their 2012 TOP 500 list, as well as by "RED HOT Franchise" in their TOP 100 listing, which includes franchises of all types. In many respects, Discovery Point is unlike any other opportunity available to own your own business. As a childcare franchise owner, you will have the satisfaction of working with children and joining an education franchise group that is a leader in the childcare industry and is committed to your individual success. We appreciate your interest and look forward to hearing from you and discussing your daycare business plan.
Discovery Point Advantage™
Philosophy in Success: We believe that Discovery Point's success in the childcare business depends upon the success of each franchisee. Our proven business model includes everything you need to know about starting a daycare business and operating it as a successful Discovery Point Center. Our turnkey package is a vital component of the Discovery Point Advantage™.
The core values of Discovery Point Franchising place us a step above the rest. Rooted in our philosophy is that we believe our company, and each educational franchise, has a positive impact on your children and their future.
Our philosophy on Caring for Children: Attention · Affection · Approval ·
We want what you want for your children--only the best. You can entrust your child to us. Our three A's approach to child development cultivates growth, independence, and confidence and gives your child the freedom to learn and explore.
Discovery Point's low child-to-teacher ratios mean your child will develop strong and loving relationships. When children feel loved, they feel free to discover more about themselves and the world around them. And when you know that your children are receiving the attention, affection and approval that you want for them, you'll feel better, too.
Why Discovery Point
Industry Leader As a respected, recognized and preferred brand, Discovery Point provides an unparalleled franchise opportunity in the daycare business. Features that set our franchise apart from other childcare franchises include these:
- As professional advocates of early childhood education, socialization and preparedness, Discovery Point is an industry leader in creating and modeling state-of-the-art programs.
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- The franchising package we offer stands apart from franchising opportunities across the industry and was recognized by our inclusion in "Entrepreneur Magazine TOP 500? and 'RED HOT Franchise TOP 100?
Unparalleled Support The Discovery Point Team is here to support you from the moment you are awarded a Discovery Point Franchise. You have a team of experts ready to guide you from site selection and construction through your opening day. The Operations Team will provide you with a four-week training program and assistance through the child care licensing process, but the support doesn't end there. The Franchise Team further guides you through your Center start-up and grand opening, and then continues to provide operational support for your Center every day thereafter. Ready to share their knowledge and expertise this highly experienced group, with more than 100 years of combined experience in the child care industry, is just a phone call away.
Discovery Point Curriculum Discovery Point utilizes the respected Creative Curriculum program throughout the Discovery Point system. The Discovery Point curriculum is approved for state-funded Pre-Kindergarten programs, is user friendly, and offers the flexibility to expand.
The curriculum enhances the children's education. Different programs are age specific. The curriculum is practical, developmentally appropriate, and reflects the most innovative thinking. Discovery Point's curriculum provides all of the tools to encourage exploration, follow a daily routine schedule, and also produces creative interactive environment. This curriculum is designed to also accommodate children that are advanced learners, speak English as a second language, or have learning disabilities. In addition to the curriculum, Discovery Point franchisees are encouraged to include additional educational and extra-curricular activities, such as creative movement, music, and languages at the center owner's discretion. Our operations team assists the new franchisee(s) with the curriculum implementation during the start-up of the center.
Marketing Support The National Advertising Program promotes your child care business and is designed to support your Center's local marketing efforts. While you are building your business by reaching out to your local neighborhoods and networking with the area schools and organizations, the national advertising program is building the Discovery Point brand regionally. Within a secure business portal on the Discovery Point web site, there is a library of custom marketing materials that are available to every Franchisee. These are pre-approved, press quality layouts ready to customize and print from your Center printer or with your local print vendor in addition to other marketing resources - invaluable to your child care business plan.
Your Voice In The Industry Discovery Point is an active member of Georgia Child Care Association There is the commitment by senior management to be your advocate in the childcare industry. As the franchise system grows so will the influence of Discovery Point, as they continue to promote quality childcare and a strong childcare industry throughout the country. As we expand, Discovery Point will become involved in other state and national organizations.
Kiddie Academy Franchise Opportunity
Achieve your personal and professional goals while
providing a valuable service to the families in your community.
Make a difference in their lives and yours.
With a Kiddie Academy® average revenue $1,144,362* and average gross profit $283,304*, your financial goals could be within reach.
Why Franchise with Kiddie Academy?
- Growing demand for high quality childcare with dual income & single parents
- Comprehensive business support & model
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Concept Statement: At Kiddie Academy®, we awaken the possibilities through nurturing, learning and fun. Our curriculum incorporates character development and life skills, reinforced with our family style dining and creative play.
- Kiddie Academy® offers a variety of third party financing options and is registered with the SBA registry and the VetFran program.
- Our multi-step development process supports you through the steps of securing financing, site selection, construction, licensing, training, pre-launch and ramp-up.
Academy Design: Kiddie Academy's signature building is designed to give families a Kiddie Academy® branded experience while allowing you to design and construct your academy to meet your local codes and marketplace needs within your protected territory. Our expert real estate and construction teams will support your site selection and academy construction activities, whether you choose to pursue a build to suit lease, purchase option, or in-line conversion.
Training and Support:
- Kiddie Academy® delivers high quality initial and ongoing training and support, as well as on-going training & refresher programs.
- We combine the best in classroom and hands-on learning experiences, ensuring skill acquisition, retention and real world application.
- Your assigned Franchise Business Consultant will assist you from opening onward with site visits, additional trainings, best practices sharing & general consultation.
History: Based in Abingdon, Maryland, Kiddie Academy® has been a leader in childcare education for more than 30 years. As of January 1, 2014 there are currently 119 Kiddie Academy® facilities located in 21 states, 2 company-owned academies.
Criteria: There is a minimum requirement of $150K liquidity and $400K net worth.
This website does not constitute an offer to sell a franchise. Franchise offerings can be made only by FTC or state authorized offering documents.
*For mature franchised Academies (open at least 18 months) that reported financial information for calendar year ended December 31, 2012. The average gross profit shown is after labor, occupancy (rent) and other miscellaneous expenses have been deducted from average revenue. Additional details on these figures are included in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD.)
- 30 Academies or 40% of the 75 mature academies reporting operated at or above the Average Revenue and Average Gross Profit figure presented above.
Education Week is a Bill Gates education privatization journal that always ranks Maryland #1 for its spirited move to privatized public universities and now its embrace of privatized K-12----with O'Malley in control of building the platform for privatized K-12 in Baltimore. Take a look at this article that speaks to just where the latest education funding will go and then look in your neck of the woods at what private non-profits and businesses are popping up in schools and communties that are receiving all those funds-----I bet it won't be your public school!
Republicans fully embraced funding pre-K for the first time in decades-----SEE WHY?????
Maryland is easy to push an education privatization scheme because it has a completely captured media, privatized universities which do not speak of the goals or consequences-----its labor and justice organizations are all captured and made part of this privatizing process by promoting career 'colleges' and
'enterpreneur' small business opportunities of what was public education. I dare say that graduates of public universities in Maryland came from public schools---and historically black universities will be the casualty of a defunded public education system. Small business ownership will be short-lived as national chains take over public funding.
Spending Bill Would Fund Preschool Grants, But Not Race to Top
By Lauren Camera on December 10, 2014 12:19 AM
Congress unveiled its long-awaited spending bill Tuesday evening, which would fund most of the government, including the U.S. Department of Education and federally funded education programs, through September 2015.
The measure, if adopted by both chambers and signed by President Barack Obama, would avert a government shutdown that could take place Dec. 11, when the current stopgap funding bill is set to expire. The House is tentatively scheduled to pass the bill Wednesday with the Senate following suit Thursday.
The proposal is a hybrid continuing resolution/omnibus, which quickly garnered the inside-the-Beltway moniker "cromnibus."
The bill would hold education funding largely steady, but would include some increases for early childhood programs. The Obama administration would receive $250 million to dole out to states for a second year of the Preschool Development Grant program. And the bill would provide $2.4 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant program, a $75 million increase to help support a recent update of the program, which bolsters health and safety standards for child care programs.
Other core education programs would be level-funded or slated for small hikes. Under the fiscal plan, the landmark $14.4 billion Title I grant program for schools with large numbers of low-income students and the $11.5 billion special education state grants program would receive modest $25 million increases. And the measure would keep funding for Head Start steady at $8.6 billion.
But a few education programs would take a notable whack, including Race to the Top, one of the Obama administration's signature competitive grants, which appropriators sought to scrap completely.
"Within a very difficult budget environment, this bill protects key investments in America and allows us to respond to several new challenges facing our nation," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and outgoing chairman of the Senate education appropriations subcommittee.
"I am particularly encouraged that the bill invests in high-quality early childhood care and education, provides programs that support working families, allows for an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award and number of recipients, and expands investments that allow for a continued response to the Ebola outbreak, both in the United States and overseas," he added.
Other high-priority competitive grants for the administration took smaller hits: The $141 million Investing in Innovation, which helps scale up promising practices at the district level, would lose $21.6 million under the proposal. Funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund program, which doles out grants to districts to fund experiments with performance pay, would drop from $289 million to $230 million.
Funding for the School Improvement Grant program, which helps finance school turnaround, would remain steady at $506 million. Appropriators beefed up language in the spending bill that was originally included in last year's funding measure reiterating that schools have additional flexibility when it comes to turning themselves around: While turnaround proposals would still need to be vetted by the secretary, the school district could develop its own plan instead of using the four turnaround models provided by the administration.
An additional policy rider included in the funding measure would relax new school nutrition requirements set by the Obama administration—a major priority of First Lady Michelle Obama. The language specifically allows states to grant an exemption from the whole grain requirement for schools that show financial hardship of obtaining whole grains.
The bill also includes $840 million, an increase of $1.5 million, for TRIO, a slate of programs that help disadvantaged students access college, and a $5 million bump for charter schools.
In addition, the proposal includes $100 million, an increase of $1.6 million, to strengthen the capacity of the office of civil rights, which has recently beefed up its enforcement efforts.
Appropriators also included $75 million to maintain a school safety initiative that was new last year.
Importantly, the funding bill includes a new $14 million allocation for districts that are experiencing an increase of unaccompanied immigrant children in the 2014-15 school year.
Overall, the U.S Department of Education would be funded to the tune of $70.5 billion, a slight $133 million decrease from fiscal 2014.
"There is nothing shocking [with these numbers], but the reality is ... Title I and IDEA are still both below their pre-sequester levels," explained Joel Packer, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding. "We still haven't gotten all the way back to where we were in fiscal 2012," which was three years ago.
The sequester, Politics K-12 readers may remember, was the across-the-board cut for all federal agencies and programs.
"The problem we will face next year is that absent some effort by Congress to raise the caps, these are essentially the funding levels we'll see next year," Packer said.