|Federal Update: March 18, 2014|
|posted by: Ruthie | March 18, 2014, 06:44 PM|
Federal Budget Release Reveals President Obama's Priorities
Specifically, President Obama proposed initiatives to close the achievement gap, increase and leverage technology use among both educators and students, make high-quality preschool accessible, improve school safety, and make postsecondary education more affordable.
"The President's budget request reflects his strong belief that education is a vital investment in the nation's economic competitiveness, in its people, and in its communities," Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan said. "Despite the encouraging progress we've seen, wide opportunity and achievement gaps continue to hurt many families, which puts our nation's economy and future at risk."
Click here to read the budget summary.
Department of Education Works to Increase Accessibility to Higher Education
The Department of Education recently launched the FAFSA Completion Initiative in an effort to identify individual students who have not completed the FAFSA, as well as proposed regulations requiring career colleges to do a better job of preparing students for employment.
The FAFSA Completion Initiative will provide states information to support school and district efforts to increase FAFSA completion, starting in the 2014-15 school year. These efforts build on the success of a pilot project launched by the agency in 2010 working directly with about 100 districts.
Additionally, the proposed regulations for colleges strengthen students' options for higher education by giving all career-training programs the opportunity to improve, while stopping the flow of federal funding to the lowest-performing programs that fail to do so.
Congressional Hearing: Public Charter Schools at Work
Last week, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing discussing a wide variety of topics pertaining to public charter schools in America.
Maintaining quality charter schools, closing failing schools, collaboration between district run schools and charter schools, and the funding of charter schools were among the many topics discussed by the committee. Overall, witnesses testified to the exemplary work charter schools are doing to serve students, teachers, and communities nearly nationwide.
Witnesses also encouraged lawmakers to continue funding the federal charter school program, which administers start-up grants for eligible charter schools, as well as credit-enhancement programs allowing charter schools to apply for loans.
Click here to view the full hearing.Congressional Hearing: Exploring Efforts to Strengthen the Teaching Profession
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee held a congressional hearing examining how to strengthen the teaching profession. The panel recommended several key methods of increasing teacher empowerment and overall years of service.