Archive for the ‘Federal Education News’ Category

5 Reasons You Should Care About the 2020 Census

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The census is an official count of the U.S. population that takes place every 10 years. The next census is right around the corner in 2020, which we know will capture an increasingly diverse population of approximately 330 million people.


What may seem like boring, boilerplate people-counting is actually darn important. Here’s why:



  1. It Helps to Shape Congress


Census data establishes equal political representation, both in Congress and in terms of fair allocation of federal funds to local communities. Census data are also used to inform policy debates and decision-making, to guide foundation strategies, investment, and evaluations while measuring socio-economic conditions by area, region, and demographic. The census determines whether Delaware gets another U.S. Representative.


  1. It Funnels Dollars to Delaware


The 2010 U.S. Census allocated two billion dollars, or $2,214 per capita, in federal funds to Delaware. However, there was a significant under-count: one percent of the state (8,979 people) was not calculated in the distribution of funds. This translates to more than $14 million that Delaware missed out on last time around.


For a complete breakdown of the federal funds allocated to Delaware, click here.


  1. Miscounts Can Contribute to Inequities


Miscounting the population is not unheard of. The census count often over-counts non-Hispanic whites, and under-counts people of color (including American Indians on reservations, young children (ages zero to four), immigrant and non-English speaking households, and lower-income people.


Children ages zero to four are the mostly likely age group to be under-counted. African American and Hispanic kids under five are overlooked twice as often as non-Hispanic, white counterparts.


Latino men face greater odds of under-count due to their overrepresentation in the criminal justice system (people in prison aren’t counted) and their lower rates of citizenship. The net under-count for black men between ages 30-49 was more than 10 percent.


“[The] traditional hard-to-count groups, like renters, were counted less well,” Census Bureau director Robert Groves told CBS News in 2012. “Because ethnic and racial minorities disproportionately live in hard-to-count circumstances, they too were under-counted relative to the majority population.”


In Delaware, these “Hard to Count (HTC)” communities face inequitable political representation and potential programmatic funding deficits. Currently, there are 21.4 percent of black communities, 23.6 percent of Latinos, and 8.5 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in HTC Delaware census tracts.


  1. It Impacts Students and Education, Too


Under-counting hurts the total number of dollars a state receives for children/student-centered funds like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Education Grants (IDEA), Title I (LEA), Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).


  1. Local Advocates Can Help Get the Count Out


Making sure Delaware gets a fair and accurate census count starts now. Between March 1 and June 30, Delaware state and local government will update the Census Bureau’s master address lists—that is, all the homes that will be contacted by mail, internet, or a home visit. The Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) recommends community-based organizations create their own canvassing strategy to supplement this process by identifying HTC communities and sharing the data with the Census Bureau. Delaware-based philanthropy organizations and non-profits alike can play a critical role.


  • Funders can spread the word among grantees about why an accurate census count matters for getting equitable federal funding and engaging hard-to-reach communities and populations. For resources and information, grant makers can download the 2020 Census Funder Toolkit from the Funders Census Initiative.
  • Community-based organizations and non-profits can help with canvassing and reaching HTC communities. Community-based organizations can create a canvassing strategy and work with local government and the Census Bureau to collect and submit the information needed. FCCP offers guidance on how to reduce the likelihood of an under-count here.
  • Funders and community-based organizations can collaborate on a campaign to convene organizations to discuss mobilizing an action plan to get out the count. Working together, this campaign can not only make sure organizations are supporting a fair and accurate census count, but it could also inform and inspire citizens to participate in the 2020 Census.

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.

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