Drug and Alcohol Prevention
FY 2006 Budget
Quote to Note
NCLB Update (http://www.nochildleftbehind.gov/)
On Wednesday, the Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) published the last booklet in its six-booklet series on promising practices. "Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership" looks at the growing movement to create rigorous routes toward becoming a school principal or administrator and highlights practices of six programs already underway. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/pubs/intro/innovations.html.
Did you miss the January 28 "Innovations in Education Exchange" event regarding supplemental educational services? A webcast of the event is being offered for free by Kidz Online, a non-profit education organization dedicated to preparing students and teachers to live in the Information Age. For more information, please go to http://www.kidzonline.org/edexchange/.
Through a unique partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) has released a brochure highlighting six innovative RIF programs. The programs were selected for reaching special populations, from homeless and incarcerated youth to teen parents. For more information, please go to http://www.rif.org/who/press/05_special_
Drug and Alcohol Prevention
Next week's "Education News Parents Can Use" broadcast (February 15, 8:00-9:00 ET) will explore how parents, schools, and the community are working together to provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to make intelligent choices about drugs and alcohol. For example, recognizing that under-age drinking and drug abuse can impair a student's ability to perform to his or her full potential, the No Child Left Behind Act encourages school districts to adopt comprehensive drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs to keep students on the right track. These programs set clear expectations and penalties; identify students who are at risk of delinquent behavior; weave research-based prevention curriculum into the school day; enlist student-leaders to be advocates for student safety on and off campuses; and involve parents in an intervention program when a student is caught using drugs and alcohol. The broadcast will also supply tips on how to talk to children about abuse and share resources for parents and schools on prevention and intervention. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/av/video/edtv/. (You can watch live and archived webcasts at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.)
FY 2006 Budget
On February 7, the Secretary announced President Bush's FY 2006 budget request for education. The President requested $56.0 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, a small decrease from the 2005 level but still a $13.8 billion, or 33 percent increase, from his first year in office. Moreover, the budget targets significant increases for several key areas, including implementing and expanding the No Child Left Behind Act, supporting students in need, and helping students go to college. Among the highlights:
- $13.3 billion for Title I grants to local education agencies, an increase of $4.6 billion (52 percent) since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act;
- $11.1 billion for special education grants, the highest level of federal support ever;
- $2.92 billion for Improving Teacher Quality state grants and $500 million for a new Teacher Incentive Fund;
- $1.24 billion for specific high school interventions and more than $400 million for related proposals (detailed earlier);
- $1 billion for Reading First and $104 million for Early Reading First;
- $676 million to help limited English proficient (LEP) students learn English;
- $412 million for state assessment grants and $250 million for high school assessments;
- $219 million for charter schools and $37 million to assist charter schools in acquiring, leasing, and renovating facilities;
- $50 million for a new Choice Incentive Fund and $27 million for Public School Choice grants; and
- $78.4 billion in student financial aid, to expand the number of recipients of grant, loan, and work-study assistance by 337,000, to an estimated 10.2 million students.
Also, the budget changes or eliminates dozens of programs, guided by the government-wide Program Assessment Rating Tool, or PART, that evaluates programs' evidence of effectiveness. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget06/summary/. (A supplemental guide to the President's budget request, "No Child Left Behind: Expanding the Promise," is available at http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget06/nclb/, and state-by-state data has been posted at http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/.)
Note: A recent letter to Chief State School Officers describes the procedures for, and conditions under which, the Department will consider requests for late liquidations of obligations under state-administered programs. For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/050128.html.
Speaking of money, a number of grant competitions are now underway. The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program aims to improve the literacy skills and academic achievement of students by providing them with up-to-date library materials, well-equipped school libraries/media centers, and certified library/media specialists. However, only school districts in which at least 20 percent of students served are from families with incomes below the poverty line are eligible to apply (http://www.ed.gov/programs/lsl/eligibility.html). Applications are due March 14. Applications are also due that day for the Charter Schools Program, which seeks to increase national understanding of the charter school model and to expand the number of high-quality charter schools by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools and for evaluating the schools' impact. States are eligible to apply for grants if they have a charter school law in place. If an eligible state does not participate, charter schools from the state may apply directly. The ongoing Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program complements the President's early reading initiative by funding replicable professional development programs that improve the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators who work in high-poverty communities and who primarily serve children from low-income families. Eligible applicants are partnerships consisting of one or more institutions of higher education or public or private entities (including faith-based organizations). Applications are due April 22. http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/ lists all the competitions that are currently underway and provides links to electronic application packages, forms, and other basic information.
As part of the effort to combat the growth of "diploma mills," the Department has unveiled a master list of accredited colleges, universities, and career and trade schools (http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/). Diploma mills operate outside the purview of the accreditation process and the agency's oversight of federal student aid programs. Consequently, they threaten to devalue the genuine education credentials of millions of Americans. Nevertheless, it should be noted that some institutions have chosen not to participate in the student aid program and, therefore, do not have to be approved by an accrediting agency. While these institutions do not appear on the Department's list, they may be legitimate schools.
Also: A new Federal Trade Commission publication, "Avoid Fake-Degree Burns by Researching Academic Credentials" ( http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/
diplomamills.htm), is an excellent resource for hiring managers and human resource professionals, with information regarding the database and other tools to help assess academic credentials. Indeed, the publication identifies red flags that indicate a job applicant's claimed credentials could be bogus.
During his State of the Union Address last week, President Bush proudly announced First Lady Laura Bush would direct a proposed $150 million outreach effort aimed at helping at-risk youths, especially boys. The three-year initiative is designed to help youth at risk of gang influence and involvement by providing grants to faith-based and community organizations, for efforts to educate parents and communities on the importance of promoting positive youth development and to inform them of successful prevention and intervention programs. For more information, please go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/20050202-
Quote to Note
"The No Child Left Behind law committed this nation to a bold vision for the future in which all children, regardless of race, income, or native language, have the chance to succeed in school and life.... The initial attention to the lower grades makes sense; focusing resources there prevents educational problems before they become much more costly, in both human and financial terms. Now that progress is being made at the lower grades, as is evident from assessments across the country, we must ensure that students are given the skills they need at the high school level as well."
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (2/3/05)
The fifth annual Education Industry Day (March 2-3, Washington, D.C.) will feature OII's Mike Petrilli leading a panel on No Child Left Behind and supplemental services. For more information, please go to http://www.educationindustry.org/.
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