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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Obama to boost education spending by $4 billion

Obama to boost education spending by $4 billion

11 Replies 1240 Views
CNN reports ahead of tonight's State of the Union address that Obama will announce increases in ed spending including: - $1.35 billion more for Race to the Top - $1 billion to overhaul NCLB - a 6.2 increase in the Department of Ed budget Here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/27/obama.education/index.html Does this seem significant to you? I'm thinking about a blog or poll about it and would love user feedback. Thanks! Malaika

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Malaika Costello-Dougherty's picture
Malaika Costello-Dougherty
Former senior editor at Edutopia.

Hi Gaeten,

This is a great question. Maybe Obama will mention it in tonight's speech. We did a package a while back trying to address the question "Can Money Save Education?". Of course, such grand questions are never easy to answer. But I have heard convincing arguments that it's not really about the money. But then again, with NCLB, a major complaint seems to be that it's unfunded.

I go to the dictionary with word questions, and Webster's says overhaul means "to examine thoroughly." In a recent editorial meeting, we talked about adding teachers' voices to the examination of NCLB, and particularly guest blogs about "A Day in the Life Under NCLB." We haven't kicked it off yet, but if you'd be interested, let me know. That goes for other community members too.

Please keep the discussion going. And I'll report back on any evolving definitions of overhaul that I come across.

Thank you!

Malaika

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

Let me know when you need something. I'll definitely write about my life with NCLB.

Gaetan

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer
Staff

In case you missed out on The State of the Union last night, I've pasted an excerpt where education was the focus:

"Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people.
Now, this year, we've broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform -- reform that raises student achievement; inspires students to excel in math and science; and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city. In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education. And in this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than on their potential.

When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. That's why I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.

To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let's tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years -- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.

And by the way, it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs -- because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem.

Now, the price of college tuition is just one of the burdens facing the middle class. That's why last year I asked Vice President Biden to chair a task force on middle-class families. That's why we're nearly doubling the child care tax credit, and making it easier to save for retirement by giving access to every worker a retirement account and expanding the tax credit for those who start a nest egg. That's why we're working to lift the value of a family's single largest investment -- their home. The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments." Read the full transcript.

Sooo..there was a lot said by the President. What's everyone's initial reactions to his talking points on education? And..what about this $4 billion he mentions? I ran across a great EdWeek article that helps summarize the details around it.

"The president's fiscal year 2011 budget, slated to be released Monday, will seek a 6.2 percent increase to the U.S. Department of Education's budget, including up to $4 billion more for K-12 education. The department's discretionary budget for fiscal 2010 is roughly $63.7 billion.

The president is also taking the unusual step of making $1 billion of the increased education funds contingent on renewal of the ESEA, whose current version is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002."

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

Now Playing>>
Band: Dave Matthews Band
Record: Big Whiskey and The Groogrux King
Track: Funny the Way It Is

"It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to." - J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

That's all i've got right now.

Gaetan

Jamie Schwantes's picture

Having some trouble with formulating a comment to the portion of the State of the Union that focused on education since it was only a few minutes. What I get is that now states/school districts will be competing for funding and in order to get the funding they must implement programs to "reform" or "overhaul" the current system to help raise student achievement. Achievement based on a do or die standardized assessment. Looking forward to reading other comments to help me understand this race to the top.

Malaika Costello-Dougherty's picture
Malaika Costello-Dougherty
Former senior editor at Edutopia.

[quote]Having some trouble with formulating a comment to the portion of the State of the Union that focused on education since it was only a few minutes. What I get is that now states/school districts will be competing for funding and in order to get the funding they must implement programs to "reform" or "overhaul" the current system to help raise student achievement. Achievement based on a do or die standardized assessment. Looking forward to reading other comments to help me understand this race to the top.[/quote]

Hi Jamie,

I've been following Race to the Top for a while since it seems to be in line with education reform. Obama is now proposing more funds for Race to the Top ($1.35 billion), which could allow districts to compete for the funding instead of just states. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent out a press release saying this money intends to make Race to the Top a permanent program.

States have just turned in their applications for this money -- a portion of the stimulus funding -- that is meant to fund innovative models of education. The first round of winners is expected in April 2010.

We have done some stories on this in the past, which I hope can help inform you. Here's the latest story, which was published before the applications were due. We also have a stimulus topic page with all of our coverage on the topic.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts and questions. And also to the community's reaction to the latest plans.

Thanks,

Malaika

Malaika Costello-Dougherty's picture
Malaika Costello-Dougherty
Former senior editor at Edutopia.

Here's the analysis of NCLB from the New York Times. The overall gist is that the administration may not get to it this year since the legislative agenda is packed with jobs and health care.

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.
Facilitator 2014

Now Playing>>
Band: Styx
Record: Greatest Hits
Track: Mr. Roboto

From the Analysis of NCLB

"We also need to take a new approach to things that are not working, like using the same solutions for all school problems," Mr. Harkin said.

This sounds good. This is an improvement. Wow, you mean kids are not robots? You mean teachers are not puppets? You mean schools are different? Alright, Mr. Harkin, put your money where your mouth is. This is intelligent talk. We need intelligent action.

K Brown's picture

The only thing more disheartening than the current policies of NCLB is listening to non-educators discussing new policies.
We teachers so often just hunker down in our own worlds and do the job of teaching children.
Everybody is out for the money. We need money, but we need sound, purposeful vision, then action. Why aren't the leading education researchers in education involved in this discourse? Shouldn't policy be based upon sound research of what is best for children?
Are schools which have been in Program Improvement actually showing improvement? I've tried researching data on this but haven't found any type of definitive results. Anyone out there have an answer?

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