Implications for PreK-12 Education in Trump’s New Budget

On Monday afternoon, the Trump administration released its FY 2019 budget. While the budget proposal was quickly dismissed by some as “dead on arrival,” it is still an important indicator of the administration’s priorities for the upcoming year.

The proposal includes a 5.6 percent decrease in funding to the Department of Education. If enacted, this would amount to a total funding cut of $3.8 billion compared to what was enacted in the 2017 fiscal year. The administration originally sought a far larger cut of $7.1 billion to the department, but $3.3 billion were restored in an addendum that reflects the increased spending levels reached in last week’s congressional spending deal.

The proposal also includes a 21 percent decrease in funding to the Department of Health and Human Services, requesting a total of $68.4 billion for HHS. HHS is where many early care and education programs are housed, such as Head Start and grants to subsidize child care.

This post provides an overview of what the proposed budget means for public education.

Source: New America

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Education Agenda 2017: Top Priorities for State Leaders, the Next Administration, and Congress


Today’s students are the next generation of American doers and thinkers. The most diverse population ever, they have the honor and the burden of keeping the United States on the forefront of innovation and social progress.

To ensure students can succeed, our country’s publicly-funded education system—from early learning to public schools, and through higher education and workforce training—must be strengthened. So far, this system has failed too many of our country’s young people—turning them off of learning before they exit elementary school, leading them to repeat grades or drop out, requiring them to engage in costly remediation, and more. Widespread disparities are festering between students from high-income and low-income families; racial justice is still wanting; and linguistic diversity is still seen as a challenge instead of an opportunity.

To reform this system, New America’s Education Policy program recommends that leaders in the new administration, members of Congress, and state and local policymakers turn their attention to 10 important actions:

  1. Expand access to quality early learning.
  2. Smooth transition points from pre-K through higher education and into the workforce.
  3. Transform the preparation and ongoing development of educators.
  4. Align research and development to educational practice.
  5. Build an infrastructure for supporting dual language learners (DLLs).
  6. Improve access to and linkages between education and workforce data while protecting student privacy.
  7. Hold “bad actors” in the higher education system accountable.
  8. Simplify and target financial aid to the students who need it most.
  9. Repair the federal-state partnership in higher education.
  10. Connect education and the labor market by moving beyond the “skills gap.”

Source: New America Foundation

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Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism


Chronic absenteeism—or missing at least 10 percent of school days in a school year for any reason, excused or unexcused—is a primary cause of low academic achievement and a powerful predictor of those students who may eventually drop out of school. An estimated five to seven and a half million students miss 18 or more days of school each year, or nearly an entire month or more of school, which puts them at significant risk of falling behind academically and failing to graduate from high school. Because they miss so much school, millions of young people miss out on opportunities in post-secondary education and good careers.

Chronic absenteeism is also an equity issue, and it is particularly prevalent among students who are low-income, students of color, students with disabilities, students who are highly mobile, and/or juvenile justice-involved youth—in other words, those who already tend to face significant challenges and for whom school is particularly beneficial. Moreover, chronic absenteeism is often confused with truancy, which can lead to disproportionate suspensions and expulsions from school and inappropriate referrals of students and families to law enforcement.

In response and in support of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK), the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Justice (DOJ) are launching Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism to support coordinated community action that addresses the underlying causes of local chronic absenteeism affecting millions of children in our Nation’s public schools each year. We believe that when a diverse coalition of local stakeholders work together to engage and support students who are chronically absent, youth and family outcomes of entire communities can be dramatically improved. In short, we believe chronic absenteeism in communities is a solvable problem.

ED, HHS, HUD, and DOJ, as part of the Every Student, Every Day initiative, are pleased to release the following resources:

  • Dear Colleague Letter to States, School Districts and Community on the need to reduce chronic absenteeism by at least 10% each year.
  • Every Student, Every Day: A Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism. This Toolkit offers information, suggested action steps, and lists of existing tools and resources—including evidence-based resources—for individuals, leaders, and systems to begin or enhance the work of effective, coordinated community action to address and eliminate chronic absenteeism, including actions steps for:
    • Youth
    • Parents and Families
    • Mentors and Volunteers
    • School District Superintendents and Staff, and School Personnel
    • Early Learning Providers
    • Health Care, Public Health & Human Service Agencies & Providers
    • Public Housing Authorities
    • Juvenile Justice and Law Enforcement
    • Homeless Services Providers
    • Mayors and Local Government
    • Community, Faith-Based, and Philanthropic Organizations
  • White House Fact Sheet that includes additional details on Every Student, Every Day, including information on upcoming activities, technical assistance, and events.
  • Every Student, Every Day: A Virtual Summit on Addressing and Eliminating Chronic Absence. The U.S. Department of Education, Attendance Works, Everybody Graduates Center and United Way Worldwide invite you to attend Every Student, Every Day: A Virtual Summit on Addressing and Eliminating Chronic Absence on Nov. 12. This online summit will outline key steps that states, districts and communities can take to improve student achievement by monitoring and reducing chronic absence. Featuring two of the nation’s premiere experts on absenteeism: Johns Hopkins researcher Bob Balfanz and Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang, this virtual summit will:
    • Explain the importance of looking beyond average daily attendance rates to identify students who are missing so much school that they are falling behind academically.
    • Share strategies that work for improving attendance and achievement, including positive messaging, family outreach, student incentives and mentoring programs.
    • Highlight the importance of engaging community partners, such as, health providers and criminal justice agencies.

Balfanz and Chang will also introduce school district leaders who are using these strategies to improve attendance and achievement. The summit is hosted by the United Way Worldwide.

Source: US Department of Education

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Bullying Prevention Month 2015: Have We Come To The End of This Policy Cycle?


It is hard to believe it is October again, our designated “bullying prevention month.” Typically at this time of year my inbox is full of requests for interviews or information on bullying and my Google newsfeed alerts ping hundreds of articles about the issue. Though these are still trickling in, somehow this year seems much slower than any in the past five. Perhaps it was the recent news that rates of bullying are down for students ages 12-18, or the fact that every state in the country now has an anti-bullying law (which, at least according to one recently released study, seem to have a positive relation to decreased rates of bullying). Whatever the reason, it seems like the once-widespread focus on bullying among school-aged youth seems to be fading.

In their pioneering book Tinkering Toward Utopia, David Tyack and Larry Cuban write that policymakers’ attention to a topic often follows public interest, for better and worse; tragedies or news stories can increase the likelihood of real action, but those chances wane when public attention fades. We have seen this already with bullying. The first panic about bullying followed a string of school shootings in the 1990s, reaching its peak with the Columbine massacre in 1999. But attention to bullying dwindled until the next panic involving youth suicides in 2010.

Despite the public’s seemingly short attention span, however, dedicated researchers, advocates, and policymakers took up the cause driving towards the progress we have seen to date. This relatively quiet bullying prevention month is the perfect time to reflect on our progress and plan for the next policy cycle, which will hopefully not be triggered by a tragic event like those in the past.

The last five years have been a firestorm for work on bullying. A simple Google Scholar search reveals over 9,000 publications since 2010 with “bullying” in their title. Everyone, from President Obama to Lady Gaga to Big Bird to Monica Lewinsky, has spoken up about bullying. Anti-bullying wristbands and posters are so commonplace now, it is almost more surprising to walk into a school and not see these types of campaigns. Bullying as an issue is so recognized now that it has lost much of the meaning that was once ascribed to it. As danah boyd has long argued, the term bullying often doesn’t resonate with today’s youth. Today, everything is bullying and yet nothing is bullying (and it doesn’t help that those of us who work on the issue can’t agree what it is, either). It comes as no surprise then that, after five years, there is a general malaise in the discussion.

But perhaps this is exactly where the conversation needs to be. As I have long argued, simply telling youth not to bully and raising awareness about the issue is unlikely to actually change the behavior. Instead the conversation now seems to have shifted to one that could have a real impact: building social and emotional skills in youth, addressing trauma, creating more positive school climates, and focusing on positive behaviors, rather than negative ones. By focusing on these protective factors, at increasingly earlier ages, we are more likely to impact bullying than awareness campaigns like bullying prevention month.

So as this bullying prevention month quietly continues, don’t despair that attention has been lost. Instead look towards the promise of the new policy cycles, new research, and new prevention efforts that might have the biggest impact of all.

Source: Child Trends

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CEELO has collected information on each state pertaining to their early learning guidelines for infants and toddlers, prekindergarten, and K-3. You will also find links to state program standards for early childhood education, along with teacher and family guidance documents that relate to the standards. Each state page is headed up by links to the state’s office/s of early learning.  Click on the map to begin exploring.

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes

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So What do I do Now? Strategies for Intensifying Intervention when Standard Approaches Don’t Work

4/29/2014 3:00 pm ET

Register now for NCII’s next webinar on Tuesday April 29th, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:15 pm ET. The webinar, So What do I do Now? Strategies for Intensifying Intervention when Standard Approaches Don’t Work, will be presented by Dr. Sharon Vaughn of the University of Texas Austin and Dr. Rebecca Zumeta of NCII. In the webinar, Drs. Vaughn and Zumeta will discuss approaches to intensifying academic interventions for students with significant and persistent needs. The presenters will address four categories of practice for intensification, with an emphasis on combining cognitive processing strategies with academic learning. Special educators, school psychologists, interventionists, classroom teachers, and school and district leaders are encouraged to attend. Click here to register.

Source: National Center on Intensive Intervention

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Updated Website: Center on Response to Intervention


The American Institutes for Research (AIR) ran the National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI) from 2007-2012 with a grant from the Office of Special Education Programs. When the Center’s federal funding ended in 2012, AIR took over upkeep and maintenance of the Center’s website and products.

The website’s updated look reflects this change, but products developed under the NCRTI name continue to be available and free to the public. We have, however, reorganized our site to make products easier for users to search and find.

Please note that as a result of revisions to the website, links embedded within documents may no longer be correct. To ensure you are able to access supplemental or related materials search by the title of the document on the website.

Source: Center on Response to Intervention

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The Research Base for a Birth through Age Eight State Policy Framework


This report is a compendium to the framework that emphasizes three important messages: 1) there is an evidence base for the policy areas and policy foundations identified in the Birth through Eight State Policy Framework; 2) the years starting at birth and continuing through age eight are a critical time for achieving good health, strong families, and better learning outcomes in early childhood and later in life; and 3) the supports and experiences that children receive have a cumulative effect—each experience influences the next and sustains previous growth and development.

Source: Child Trends

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