Wrapping Up the 111th Session of Congress: Federal Education Policy Update

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Emergency Education Jobs Bill. Chairman Obey (D-WI) sponsored an domestic spending amendment to the war supplemental that included $10 billion (completely offset) for educator jobsRescissions included $800 million of education-related programsSAP included threat of Presidential veto over current

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Wrapping Up the 111th Session of Congress: Federal Education Policy Update

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1. Wrapping Up the 111th Session of Congress: Federal Education Policy Update Noelle Ellerson American Association of School Administrators

2. Emergency Education Jobs Bill Chairman Obey (D-WI) sponsored an domestic spending amendment to the war supplemental that included $10 billion (completely offset) for educator jobs Rescissions included $800 million of education-related programs SAP included threat of Presidential veto over current education offsets Stripped from Senate supplemental Ed groups met with the Secretary to message on the importance of getting the money out ASAP. Dept priority seems to be with finding offsets. We need to message with them and the Senators about the importance of the money and how reform can’t happen to teachers that are no longer employed or in a system decimated by layoffs. Next likely vehicle is Small Business Bill (HR 5297) Despite seemingly non-stop opposition to jobs fund, staff for House and Senate Majority leaders say their bosses remain committed to pushing for ed jobs and Pell grant funding

3. Obama Budget Proposal FY11 budget proposal released Feb 1 (2011-12 school year) Despite tight economic times, including non-defense discretionary budget freeze, education receives historic increases Proposal includes massive restructuring in ESEA reauthorization Despite overall increases: Title I was level funded IDEA received a $250 million increase, remaining at 17% instead of the promised 40%

4. Obama Budget Proposal 65% increase in the proportion of discretionary education dollars moving through competitive grants AASA has a position in favor of formula grants.

5. FY 11 Appropriations The House and Senate Approps Cmtes announced caps for FY11 discretionary spending. The Senate cap is roughly $14 billion below the administration, and the House cap is $7 below. House LHHS markup includes a discretionary increase above FY10 of $2.04 billion (3.2% increase) Includes $5.67 billion for Pell $400 m increase for Title I $153 m increase for IDEA Next step? Most likely CR to get us through elections, maybe an omnibus.

6. A New Vision for Federal Education Policy Four Key Areas of Education Reform: Achieving Equity in Teacher and Leader Distribution Improving the Collection and Use of Data Improving the Quality of Standards and Assessments Improving Struggling Schools

7. Reauthorization of ESEA Proposal The President’s FY11 budget proposal provides a large glimpse into the administration's ESEA reauthorization proposal: Consolidates 38 programs into 11 new programs Shift funding emphasis from formula to competitive grants Charters, charters, charters Performance pay, mostly, but not entirely, based on test scores Title I now called “Accelerating Achievement and Ensuring Equity” Grants to LEAs renamed “College and Career Ready Students” States will have to adopt more rigorous CCR standards to receive Title I; we are not sure of the relationship to Common Core. Broader measure of student performance towards CCR standards and closing the achievement gap. Will focus on identifying success and struggling schools.

8. Reauthorizing ESEA President Obama, Secretary Duncan, and George Miller (Chair, House Education and Labor Cmte) are all pushing hard to complete reauthorization this year Released ESEA blueprint on March 13, 2010, providing general outline and ideas, but few details Both the House and Senate committees are holding hearings It is likely we will see bills, but politics will complicate the process There are some rather large competing legislative priorities: two wars, climate control, immigration, finance reform, a Supreme Court confirmation and the Jobs bills. The 2010 elections are looming, and it will, at some point, become difficult to legislate. Likely to be completed in 2011.

9. The Administration’s Blueprint: What Works Blueprint eliminates thorns from administrators’ sides: AYP - linear, mechanical calculation replaced by growth/progress All or nothing accountability The 100% proficiency mandate (so we think) One snap shot test for a moment in time Comparison of this years third grade with last years third grade

10. A clear, attainable, measurable goal – US will lead the world in percentage of college graduates by 2020 Mandate to improve standards – Common core or higher ed approved – internationally bench marked, clear learning progressions from K through 12 Mandate to improve assessments – aligned to standards and more accurate and individualized More accurate & differentiated accountability – not high stakes on one group of students.

11. Rewards as well as punishment – Top 10% get flexibility and recognition Focus on improving teaching and leadership- Focus on teacher and leader preparation and development - transitions from qualifications to effectiveness Greater focus on total child – Gathering and reporting school climate and other curriculum information, more than reading and math

12. Shift to competitive grants away from formula grants- The administration’s budget proposal puts ALL of the new money in competitive grants. The federal role is enlarged, with many requirements both new and old – This is very prescriptive even though the text says the intent is to be loose on means and tight on goals. The heavy hand of the feds trying to grab the progress of NGA and CCSSO on common standards – Coercion to adopt the common core will inevitably lead to federal control.

13. Continuing to use discredited tests and accountability calculations – President Obama and Secretary Duncan have blasted the current crop of state tests but the tests will be used to evaluate teachers and schools until new assessments are available. School improvement models for bottom 5% are not based on scientific evidence or predictable success in practice – But the schools in the reward category and the next two challenge categories are to use “scientifically based” interventions.

14. The new data system is a huge unfunded mandate for districts - the administration proposes new state grants and state authority to take funds meant for districts to pay for state end of new data system. Completely unclear about how to force an equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals – Does not take into account the free will of teachers to teach where they want to.

15. Title I Funding Equity There will be a formula fight within ESEA reauthorization. Title I allocations are made up of four formulas: Basic Grant, Concentration Grant, Targeted Grant, Education Finance Incentive Grant Idea is to focus on concentrations of poverty Current law uses numbers or percentages Since NCLB, all new money in Title I has been split between the Targeted Grant and the Education Finance Incentive Grant. Focus on percentages of poverty for equity

16. Serving Schools Most in Need School Turnaround Grants will be targeted to bottom 5% performing schools in each states. Schools will have to choose one of four possible interventions. Turnaround – fire principal and 50% of staff, institute a new curriculum Restart – close school and restart as a charter or under an educational management organization School Closure – close school and send students to other schools Transformation – fire principal, grant new budgeting and scheduling flexibility, new curriculum, intensive professional development, community schools model A fifth “research based” option will be available to some

17. Focusing on Teachers and Leaders Cuts Title II, Part A formula by $450 million. All states would be required to develop a definition of effective teachers and principals. Will require all states to link evaluations of teachers and principals to student achievement. Sets up a federal evaluation criteria:

18. Focusing on Teachers and Leaders Would move all federal teacher training into ESEA and focus on preparation programs. Creates multiple new competitive funding grants focused on teachers. Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund Teacher and Leader Pathways Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy Effective Teaching and Learning: STEM Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well Rounded Education

19. Creating a Better School Climate Successful, Safe and Healthy Students Competitive grant program to improve school climate by reducing drug use, violence or harassment Focus on student physical health and nutrition, mental health and well being Extensive school climate survey required $210 million proposed for Promise Neighborhoods Based on Harlem Children’s Zone: comprehensive services to meet needs of the total child

20. Reauthorization of REAP Some changes need to be made to improve REAP in the coming reauthorization. Specifically, a number of districts are no longer receiving a financial benefit from the program despite qualifying. Allow districts to choose which program to apply under. Raise the sliding scale from $20,000 - $60,000 to $25,000 - $70,000. For the Rural & Low-income program, use free and reduced lunch instead of census. Update Locale codes. Support the REAP Reauthorization Act HR 2446 & S 1052

21. Increased Congressional support for common core (not national) standards. CCSSO and NGA have joined together with 48 states and territories to develop them. Draft standards were released in March and open for comment until April 2nd. States may choose to include additional standards beyond the common core as long as the common core represents at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and mathematics. What if Congress requires adoption of common core in order to receive Title I? Still unclear what Congress sees as their role in this. Certain competitive grants will give priority to Common Core states

23. The First Lady’s Obesity Initiative First Lady announced large initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Schools Physical Fitness Healthy & Affordable Foods Empowering Families with the Right Information Pledge to increase number of US Healthy Schools – A Department of Agriculture program http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html

24. Child Nutrition Act/ School Lunch Reauthorization is split into two topics of discussion: Nutritional Standards Increasing the nutritional content of school lunch. Conversations over the restriction of sales of types of food on school property. Needs to have school sponsored event exception. Programmatic Operation Increasing direct certification to include Medicaid. S 1737 to would convert all reduced price lunches to free lunches over four years.

25. Child Nutrition Act/ School Lunch Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (continued) Problem Areas in the Bill Mandatory yearly training for all food service personnel Absolutely no funding is provided All Food Service Directors will have to meet new national education, training and certification requirements Could be a problem for rural schools Provisions that have the federal government limiting flexibility in school district budgeting. National calculation of school lunch price Competitive food restrictions Calculation of indirect rate study Need to fix during the Senate floor consideration

26. Next Steps: Time for You to Get Involved ESEA Reauthorization is on the move. Make sure your voice is heard!! Superintendents have a unique expertise when it come to the ins and outs of educating children. The timeline for action will be quick, even if they don’t complete it this year. Need to weigh in early and often. ESEA Reauthorization will be high stakes impacting all education “reform” going forward. Take the time to educate your senators and representatives of the good work being done in schools to improve student achievement.

28. Questions? Noelle Ellerson Assistant Director, Policy Analysis & Advocacy American Association of School Administrators (703) 875-0764 [email protected]

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