Archive for the ‘Federal Education News’ Category

Making Sense of the Federal Education Budget

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On March 23, Congress approved, and President Trump signed, a $1.3 trillion appropriations bill that will fund the federal government through September 30, 2018.

 

This funding bill wasn’t easy to come by—it took several short-term extensions to fund the government, as well as a two-year deal on the overall budget caps.

 

The Rodel team combed through the budget lines pertaining to education and considered what it might mean to Delaware.

 

 

In Early Care and Education:

 

Federal budget: A $2.4 billion increase to Child Development Block Grant (for a total of $5.2 billion)  

 

What it means for Delaware: This will mean about $6.4 million in flexible spending to Delaware. The Delaware Early Childhood Council will inform how it gets spent.

 

Federal budget: A $610 million (or seven percent) increase of to Head Start (for a total of $9.9 billion)

 

What it means for Delaware: Early childhood programs that help low-income families access daycare will get a boost.

 

 

 

In K-12 Wraparound Supports:

 

Federal budget: A $700 million increase for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (for a total of $1.1 billion)

 

What it means for Delaware: Additional funding will be available through Title IV block grants. The grants developed under ESSA provide states with a flexible way to spend federal dollars to help students receive a well-rounded education. Funding could be used to improve school climate and culture, promote effective use of technology, to support school counseling, mental health, and safety. In Delaware’s ESSA plan, the state aims to use Title IV Part A funds to offer technical assistance and training to districts and charters for academic enrichment and student support programs.

 

Federal budget: A $20 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (afterschool programs) (up to $1.2 billion)

 

What it means for Delaware: Delaware will be eligible for additional grant funding to support things like homework assistance, meals, and academic enrichment activities. Delaware has a number of these programs running across the state, providing before- and after-school activities, including remedial education, tutoring services, counseling, and programs for at-risk students.

 

 

In Higher Education: 

 

Federal budget: Sufficient funding to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $175 for a total of $6,095; $107 million (10-percent) funding increase for Federal Work-Study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (for a total of $840 million)

What it means for Delaware: These increases will help make college more affordable for low-income students, helping to address inequities.

 

Federal budget: $60 million increase for TRIO, for a total of $1.01 billion and $10 million increase for GEAR UP college preparation programs for a total of $350 million

What it means for Delaware: Delaware will be eligible for additional competitive funding available for programming designed to support low-income, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress from middle school through postsecondary and career.

 

Federal budget: $350 million for a new discretionary relief fund for borrowers to receive public service loan forgiveness

 

What it means for Delaware: This temporary expansion of the relief fund program is intended to reach individuals who would have otherwise been eligible for the program (which allows eligible borrowers to earn loan forgiveness by working in public service and by making 120 qualifying payments) but were not enrolled in a qualifying repayment program.

 

 

 

In Workforce Development:

 

Federal budget: $75 million increase in career and technical education (CTE) state grants under the Carl Perkins Act

 

What it means for Delaware: This increase to support CTE programs will be allocated to states based on the federal-to-state formula.

 

Federal budget: $145 million for Apprenticeship Grants, a $50 million increase

 

What it means for Delaware: These dollars represent competitive funding that Delaware could apply for, which would help expand the types and availability of registered apprenticeship programs available for Delaware residents.

 

Federal budget: $2.8 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grants to states, an $80 million increase

 

What it means for Delaware: Additional funding will be available through state formula grants for adult programs, youth programs, and dislocated worker programs. The in-school and out-of-school youth funds can be used to support youth with one or more barriers to employment to prepare for post-secondary education and employment opportunities, attain educational and/or skills training credentials, and secure employment.

March 2017 Teacher Newsletter

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Teacher Voice & Opportunities to Support Students

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Teacher Voice & Opportunities to Support Students

The Rodel Teacher Council Wants To Hear From You



The Rodel Teacher Council is studying social and emotional learning (SEL) in Delaware and the nation and needs your input! Please take 15 minutes to share your knowledge of, attitudes, and beliefs toward SEL through this online survey. Individual responses will be kept confidential and will not be attributed to individuals.

 

Your responses will be compiled to create a clearer picture for educators and policymakers of what practices and programs are happening now and what else might be needed to make sure every child is supported socially, emotionally, and academically. The survey closes on March 17.

Complete The Survey Here

Conference Opportunities &
Requests for Input

Early Career Teacher Survey (Survey Closes Mar. 10)
Delaware’s Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow, Robyn Howton, is conducting a brief survey of second and third year teachers to better understand their experiences. The purpose of the survey is to better understand how teacher preparation programs can prepare teacher candidates for the realities of the classroom. After completing the six question survey, fill out the subsequent form for the opportunity to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards.
Delaware’s 23rd Annual Inclusion Conference (Mar. 15, Dover)
The ​Inclusion ​Conference ​is ​designed ​to ​address ​the ​needs ​of ​educators, ​parents, ​policymakers, ​service ​providers, ​and ​child ​care ​providers ​involved ​with ​or ​interested ​in ​promoting ​inclusion ​for ​all ​from ​birth ​to ​21.

2017 LRNG Innovators Challenge (Applications due Mar. 16)
LRNG Innovators has a new grant challenge, inviting educators to imagine engaging ways to help young people explore their interests, igniting a passion that can lead to college, to a career, or having a positive impact on their community. Proposals may include programs, curricula, or projects that actively assist youth to discover interests connecting the spheres of their lives, both in and out of school, and provide potential future opportunities.

3rd Annual Delaware Pathways Conference (Mar. 29, Wilmington)
Partners throughout Delaware are collaborating to help students prepare for life after graduation. Join leaders from business, education, and state and community organizations at the Annual Delaware Pathways Conference, and explore how Delaware’s workforce system is to guiding young people toward meaningful career and postsecondary experiences. Attendees will hear from legislators on the future of Delaware Pathways; business leaders who offer work-based learning opportunities; community organizations who are focusing on programs for youth; and students who will share their Pathways stories.

Blended and Personalized Learning Conference (Mar. 31, Providence, RI)
This event is a chance for educators and leaders to discuss blended learning as it exists today on the ground – both in terms of the day-to-day implementation in blended classrooms, and the strategies and systems that have effectively supported replication and scale across schools and districts. Hosted by the Highlander Institute with program support from the Christensen Institute and the Learning Accelerator, the Blended and Personalized Learning Conference enjoys strong endorsements from the education community.

Making A Difference Conference (Mar. 31, Dover)
The Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children partners each spring with Delaware Head Start Association (DHSA), with support from Delaware Department of Education for the annual Making A Difference in Early Childhood: A Conference for Early Childhood Professionals.

ECET2 Delaware Recap
Educators from all across Delaware descended on the DelTech Terry Campus for a day of teacher-led training and celebration.







The first-ever ECET2 Delaware: Connecting Innovative Educators brought together teachers from across the state for an inspirational and empowering day of teacher-led and teacher-focused programming.

Over the course of six hours, attendees celebrated teacher leadership, learned about innovative classroom practices, explored technology in the classroom at the demo lab, and built connections with other educators. All sessions were led by teachers.

ECET2 stands for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Teacher 2 Teacher, the national movement has spurred more than 111 regional convenings in 27 host states, and over 19,000 teachers have attended an ECET2 event.

10 Must Read Stories

 

 

 

 

 

Personalized Learning Tip of the Month

This playbook shares the findings of three researchers who set off to discover what K–12 schools can learn from the best-run organizations in America.

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Remember ESSA? Work Still Underway on State Plan

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The confirmation of Betsy DeVos (and surrounding controversies) as U.S. Secretary of Education dominated news headlines and social media over the last few weeks. However, this national headline may be drowning out what’s happening locally, as Delaware continues to develop its state plan for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—a plan that will shape the framework of our school system for years to come.

Here are six things you should know about work underway in Delaware to affect education policy:

1. State-level policy decisions matter since states have autonomy and a great deal of latitude to decide how to implement federal education law, and Delaware is in the process of developing a plan. In December 2015, the education policy landscape shifted. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act—the largest piece of federal legislating governing federal dollars that support K-12 public education. The new federal law increased local autonomy, giving states more flexibility and control over the use of federal funds. States were immediately charged with developing local state plans for the implementation of the new legislation.

2. Delaware’s planning and stakeholder engagement process began last year. Starting in the summer of 2016, the Delaware Department of Education launched a stakeholder engagement process to solicit input and feedback on Delaware’s state ESSA plan, with the intent to submit to the U.S. Department of Education in the spring of 2017. The process has involved: consultation meetings with selected stakeholder groups, community conversations, public surveys, technical discussion groups, and an ESSA Advisory Committee (created through Executive Order 62).

3. Delaware has a solid foundation to build on. The Rodel Foundation is a member of the Vision Coalition of Delaware, which produced Student Success 2025, a plan developed with input from over 4,000 Delawareans. Student Success 2015 is aligned with the ESSA provisions and requirements. It helped plant a seed about thinking more holistically about measuring student success, and we’ve seen that reflected in both the draft state plan and stakeholder feedback about how we could improve our system accountability and supports.

4. People across the state recognize the opportunity to leverage ESSA to accelerate progress in Delaware schools and are seizing opportunities to engage, and the Delaware Department of Education has incorporated feedback from the Advisory Council and other groups into the latest draft plan. For example:

  • Expanded accountability metrics to include more holistic measures of student success like chronic absenteeism, and continuing to elicit additional feedback about which proposed measures should impact accountability versus public reporting
  • Decreased the proposed n-count (the minimum number of students required for the purposes of accountability and student privacy) from 30 to 15
  • Considering ALL SCHOOLS when identifying Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools (CSI), not just Title I schools
  • Exploring EL growth and attainment targets based on sound research

However, there are still details that need to be worked out. Just last week, The 74 published an article about the concerns of some critics (Read: In Delaware, Critics Worry That ESSA Plans Will Give Low-Performing Schools Too Much Wiggle Room).

5. Rodel has taken action to develop informational resources and partner with business, community, and teacher groups to provide meaningful feedback on draft plans.

  • Supporting stakeholder engagement efforts by publishing informational briefs and resources on the meaningful ESSA requirements that Delaware education leaders, parents, and community members should know about and discuss as the state develops is plan to implement the new law.
  • Partnering with 24 business and community organizations to collectively publish a letter providing feedback and recommendations on the first draft plan, such as holding districts accountable for the overall portfolio of schools within their management and oversight.
  • Elevating teacher voices. Six teacher leaders—members of the Rodel Teacher Council developed recommendations for policymakers and published an opinion letter encouraging fellow teachers to shape state education policy.

6. The deadline for submitting the state plan is April. It’s not too late to weigh-in. Unless new leadership at the federal and state level upset the existing timeline, the Delaware Department of Education will present a draft of the state at the March 16th State Board of Education Meeting, and submit a final draft to the U.S. Department of Education in early April.

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