Fit and Learning
Condition of Education 2004
Safe and Drug-Free Funds
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
Last week, the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) released the first two of six booklets on promising practices to be released this year. "Creating Strong District School Choice Programs" (www.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/choiceprograms/) shares practical advice and concrete examples from five school districts (Cambridge, MA; Desert Sands, CA; Mesa, AZ; Miami-Dade, FL; and Milwaukee, WI) that have been successful in creating and expanding public school choice initiatives and making them work for students and parents. It also has information on how to avoid some of the pitfalls that school districts may face in addressing the needs of all students. "Creating Strong Supplemental Educational Service Programs" (www.ed.gov/admins/comm/suppsvcs/sesprograms/) follows the same format for supplemental services, profiling five districts (Forsyth County, GA; Los Angeles Unified, CA; Rochester, NY; San Diego Unified, CA; and Toledo, OH) whose success with tutoring yielded common themes and lessons. During the 2002-03 school year, 160,000 students took advantage of either school transfer provisions or supplemental services authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act.
In a letter to Chief State School Officers, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Ray Simon elaborated on flexibility in Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) participation rate calculations. The letter is a follow-up to the Secretary's announcement that occurred on March 29. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/stateletters/
Final, non-regulatory guidance is now available on No Child Left Behind's Unsafe School Choice Option, which requires states receiving federal funds to establish and implement a policy allowing students attending a "persistently dangerous" schoolas defined by the stateor who are victims of a violent crime while on the grounds of a public school that they attend to transfer to a safe public school. Annual certification of compliance must be received from a state before any No Child Left Behind funding may be awarded. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/
Fit and Learning
The last "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast of the 2003-04 season (June 15, 8:00-9:00 ET) will focus on ways schools and families can help students begin developing the knowledge, skills, and habits to stay healthy throughout their lives. Research proves that a child's ability to learn is compromised if they are not well rested, well nourished, and fit; sleep, nutrition, and exercise have a direct impact on academic achievement and positive behavior. However, almost nine million American children and adolescents (ages 6-19) are overweight. Moreover, the prevalence of overweight children (6-11) more than doubled in the last 20 years of the prior century, increasing from seven percent in 1980 to 15 percent in 2000, and the prevalence of overweight adolescents (12-19) tripled over the same period, rising from five percent to 15 percent. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/. (You can watch live and archived webcasts of each show at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)
Note: More accolades! The National Association of Government Communicators awarded a piece from an earlier broadcast first place in its video news story category. The story covered an early intervention program that screens for reading disabilities in an Arizona school district. For more information, please go to http://www.nagc.com/awards/.
Condition of Education 2004
On June 1, the Department's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released its annual report (required by law) on the condition and progress of education in the U.S. "The Condition of Education 2004" includes 38 indicators in six main areasparticipation in education, learner outcomes, student effort and educational progress, elementary and secondary education contexts, postsecondary education contexts, and societal support for learningand a special analysis of recent changes in the ways that families pay for the college education of full-time, dependent undergraduates. Trends "continue to show promise and challenge, as well as underscore the importance of schooling." For instance, between 1993 and 2003, the percentage of students in grades 1-12 whose parents enrolled them in chosen (as opposed to assigned) public schools increased from 11 to 15 percent, and parents of 51 percent of students reported that they had the option of sending their child to a chosen public school. On the other hand, last year, about half of black and Hispanic fourth-graders (compared to five percent of white fourth-graders) enrolled in schools where 75 percent or more of the students came from families living in poverty, and 40 percent attended schools in which 90 percent or more of the students were minorities. Meanwhile, more students are taking on debt to pay for collegereflecting rising costs and greater loan options. The percentage of undergraduates receiving loans increased from 30 percent in 1990 to 45 percent in 2000. For more information, please go to http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/.
State tables showing Fiscal Year 2001-04 enacted appropriations and the FY 2005 budget request under formula-allocated and selected student aid programs have been updated. These tables show final allocations for the following No Child Left Behind programs:
- Title I (Grants to LEAs, Reading First, Even Start, and Neglected and Delinquent)
- Improving Teacher Quality State Grants
- Math and Science Partnerships
- Educational Technology State Grants
- State Grants for Innovative Programs
- State Assessments
- FIE Comprehensive School Reform
- Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants
For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/.
Also: According to a new General Accounting Office (GAO) report, which reviewed nearly 500 different statutes and regulations enacted in 2001 and 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act is not an unfunded mandate. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2004/05/
Safe and Drug-Free Funds
The Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools is soliciting applications under a number of grant competitionsall of which have July deadlines. Mentoring Grants promote mentoring programs for children with the greatest need, defined as a child at-risk of educational failure, dropping out, or involvement in criminal or delinquent activity. Eligible applicants include school districts and/or community-based organizations (closes 7/7). The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative supports efforts by communities to implement comprehensive education, juvenile justice, law enforcement, mental health, and social services for youth, while Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grants support efforts by districts to strengthen their schools' plans in the case of a disaster. Only school districts are eligible to apply for these grants, which close 7/9. The Grants to States to Improve Management of Drug and Violence Prevention Programs are designed to develop, expand, or enhance the capacity of state agencies to collect, analyze, and use data to improve the quality of prevention programs (closes 7/15). For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/.
Effective July 1, interest rates on federal student loans will drop to 3.37 percent, their lowest point in nearly 35 years. As compared to three years ago, when the rate was 5.99 percent, borrowers with $10,000 in loan debt on a 10-year standard repayment plan can save $1,523 in interest over the life of the loan. Thirteen million students apply for federal student aid annually. This year, the Department is expected to issue $52 million in new loans to over seven million students and families. For more information, please go to http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/.
Quote to Note
"Wherever life takes us, and whatever challenges we meet, each one of us has much to be grateful for. And the proper measure of response of a grateful heart is service. There's no such thing as a self-made man or woman. Everyone has had a little help along the way. It is a sign of maturity to remember our debts, and a sign of grace to pass the favor along in generosity to others. There's a wise saying: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
President George W. Bush (6/1/04)
In the days leading up to the 2004 National Charter School Conference (June 16-18, Miami, http://www.conferencepros.org/pastconferences.htm), Deputy Undersecretary Nina Rees will moderate a web-based dialogue on the key issues underlying this year's conference. The dialogue will take place over four days: June 7-10. For more information, please go to http://www.uscharterschools.org/dialogue/.
Registration is underway for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers' (21st CCLC) identical summer institutes: July 22-23 in Los Angeles and August 5-6 in Washington, D.C. This year's program is open to current 21st CCLC grantees, former grantees that are still operating after-school programs, and other interested after-school providers. For more information, please go to http://www.synergyentinc.com/21stcentury/.
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Please feel free to contact the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with any questions:
Deputy Assistant SecretaryKen Meyer, (202) 401-0404, Ken.Meyer@ed.gov
Program AnalystAdam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003, Adam.Honeysett@ed.gov
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