By Lillian Mongeau
In one of the most sweeping policy proposals in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for access to high-quality preschool programs for “every child in America.”
The impact the new proposal will have on California and other states is far from clear. Obama said he wanted to work with states to implement his preschool plan, but offered few details. Instead, he focused on studies that have shown the benefits provided by strong early childhood programs.
“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime,” Obama said.
via Few details accompany Obama’s call for expanded preschool – by Lillian Mongeau.
It remains to be seen how often—and how specifically—education will come up in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight, which many advocates and observers speculate will touch on early-childhood education and college access, among other issues.
In some of Obama’s previous State of the Union speeches, K-12 education, in particular, has gotten a lot of attention. But, now that the Obama administration’s has given more than 30 states waivers under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, K-12 policy may take a back seat to pre-K.
via Watching for Education Themes in the State of the Union Speech.
President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to temporarily delay a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts set to hit federal K-12 education spending—as well as defense, criminal justice, and a whole host of other programs—on March 1.
Obama is putting forward a package of tax changes and spending cuts intended to buy some time so that lawmakers can come up with a broader agreement on spending. But he wasn’t specific in a short speech Tuesday about just how long he was seeking to postpone the cuts—published reports say a few months—or exactly how he would pay for the delay.
via Obama to Congress: Halt Automatic Cuts to Federal Education Spending.
By Edward Kissam
President Obama’s announcement of a new immigration program, “deferred action for childhood arrivals” (DACA), last June makes 2013 a year of hope for undocumented immigrant youth and young adults in California. However, a key factor in determining whether their dreams become reality will be their ability to enroll in adult schools and community college programs.
Modeled on the DREAM Act, DACA provides undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children (before age 16), and who were less than 31 years old when the program was announced in 2012, relief from the threat of deportation. The program provides them work authorization, an opportunity to move out of the shadows of twilight employment into mainstream jobs. Nationally, deferred action can immediately benefit about 1.3 million immigrant youth and young adults who are 15 years of age or older. About 305,000 of them live in California, the nation’s largest immigrant state. As of Dec. 13, 2012, some 368,000 young people had applied for deferred action, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to process applications quite rapidly and approve most.
via Transforming ‘deferred action’ for young immigrants into true opportunities – by Edward Kissam.
High profile lawmakers on the House Education and the Workforce Committee—including Rep. John Kline, the chairman of the panel—are pressing the administration for way more detail on its school safety proposals, which were rolled out in record time earlier this month and are aimed at preventing another massacre like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last month. You can check out the proposals here.
via Kline Seeks More Detail on Obama’s School Safety Proposals.
President Barack Obama, who was officially sworn in today for his second term as the nation’s 44th president, put training more math and science teachers and taking big steps to boost school safety high on his second-term wish list.
Inaugural addresses are rarely heavy policy speeches, so including these two K-12 initiatives sends an important signal about the priority the president places on preventing another massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn., last month.
via Obama Puts School Safety High on Second-Term Agenda.
By Kathryn Baron
President Barack Obama’s second term officially began yesterday when he took the oath of office in a private ceremony surrounded by his family, using a Bible given to First Lady Michelle Obama’s grandmother by her father. Today, as he is publicly sworn in on the day the nation also celebrates the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the president will place his hand on a Bible that belonged to Dr. King, which itself will be stacked atop President Lincoln’s inaugural Bible.
The symbolism of this act goes beyond the obvious. For all three leaders, public education has been one of the leading civil rights issues of their time.
via Presidential lessons in education as a civil right – by Kathryn Baron.
President Obama wants to add up to 1,000 more mental health counselors and safety officers in the nation’s schools to improve safety. The President’s plan for gun control, released Wednesday morning and based on the recommendations of Vice President Joe Biden’s commission, calls for creation of a Comprehensive School Safety Program that seeks to prevent school fighting and bullying as well as violent attacks on schools.
The program, developed in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 people dead, including 20 first grade children, would make available $150 million through grants for school districts and law enforcement agencies to hire school psychologists, social workers, counselors and school resource officers. It’s up to individual districts whether they want to apply for these funds, but California alone has about a thousand districts.
via President: Mental health key to school safety – by Kathryn Baron.
President Barack Obama has put school safety and expanded mental health services at the center of a plan aimed at preventing tragedies similar to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month.
The plan is informed by the recommendations from an anti-violence task force led by Vice President Joe Biden. The most high-profile portions of the proposals, unveiled Wednesday at the White House, would require background checks for all gun sales, including weapons purchased at gun shows, and ban military-style assault weapons, proposals that are likely to be a tough sell among federal lawmakers.
via Obama Proposes Host of School Safety, Mental Health Programs to Curb Violence.
So now that all the big talk in Washington has shifted to the fiscal cliff, the question for school districts is whether education programs will see cuts in any final deal to head off sequestration, aka the automatic, across-the-board cuts set to hit almost every federal agency early next year. Democrats and Republicans will have to come up with a deal to avert those cuts, and head off a host of tax increases, in the next couple months.(Confused by the fiscal cliff? Check out this post.)
President Barack Obama offered some hopeful signs for worried school districts during Wednesday’s news conference, his first since winning re-election, but still stopped short of saying he would veto any compromise that would cut K-12.
via Obama Talks Fiscal Cliff and Education.
Almost as soon as President Barack Obama was re-elected, the coming fiscal cliff took center stage. Lawmakers and the Obama administration are supposed to solve the problem in a planned “lame-duck” session of Congress, which starts today.
That means we can expect to hear the words “entitlements”, “revenue”, “loopholes”, and “sequestration” a whole lot for the next couple months. What does it all mean for you, as a teacher/principal/superintendent/policy person?
via Fiscal Cliff Cheat Sheet: 10 Frequently Asked Questions.
In the last two debates, President Barack Obama has told the nation that one of his biggest accomplishments on K-12 is helping to spur turnarounds at hundreds of underperforming schools around the country.
“We’ve seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time. And they’re starting to finally make progress,” Obama said during the third presidential debate in Florida, earlier this week.
Even though he didn’t mention it by name, Obama was clearly referring to the School Improvement Grant program—by far the administration’s biggest initiative aimed at fixing low-performing schools. The program was actually first authorized in 2002 under the No Child Left Behind Act, but the Obama administration “supercharged” it, pouring $3 billion into it under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and requiring states to employ one of four highly controversial turnaround models.
via Transparency Watch: Obama Has Touted SIG Data, So Where Is it?.
President Barack Obama has talked a lot on the campaign trail about his education record—but not as much about what he would do in a potential second term.
Yesterday, the Obama campaign put out a big, glossy brochure with ideas for next steps, including:
• Cutting tuition growth in half over the next ten years; recruiting and preparing at least 100,000 new math and science teachers;
• A plan to “strengthen public schools in every community,” in part by expanding Race to the Top to school districts
• Offering states waivers from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act;
• Using community colleges as economic development engines.
via What Would a Second Obama Term Look Like on Education?.
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, tangled over class size, teachers, and education funding during their Monday night debate that was supposed to be exclusively centered on foreign policy.
Both candidates made it clear that they think a strong foreign policy begins with a strong economy at home, a premise they used to reiterate points they’ve previously made about K-12—and about each other’s positions and records on education.
via Obama, Romney Link Strong Foreign Policy, U.S. Schools.
During their second duel of this campaign, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday night framed the issue of education as an economic one.
The first question at the town-hall style debate at Hofstra University, in Hempstead N.Y., came from a college student who asked what the candidates were going to do to make sure a good-paying job awaited him upon graduation.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had a two-prong answer: Make it easier for students to afford college, and make sure there are good jobs once they graduate.
via At Debate, Obama, Romney Link Education to Economy.
By Kathryn Baron
Education has not exactly been at the forefront of the presidential campaign. It received far less than even 15 minutes of fame during the first debate, but stand-ins for President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney explored it in depth last night in a debate that revealed sharp philosophical and policy differences between the two candidates.
Jon Schnur, President Obama’s surrogate, co-founded America Achieves and New Leaders for New Schools. Phil Handy, Gov. Romney’s stand-in, is former chairman of the Florida State Board of Education and CEO of Strategic Industries. Susan Fuhrman, president of Teachers College, Columbia University, moderated the 90-minute debate, which was webcast.
via Stark education differences in presidential race, say surrogates – by Kathryn Baron.
Vice President Joe Biden attacked GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at Thursday night’s debate for cuts in Ryan’s proposed budget that Biden said would that kick 200,000 children out of the Head Start early childhood program.
The vice president also said at one point that the Ryan budget would cut $450 billion from education—it seems likely that he misspoke and meant to say about $4.5 billion, which is the figure cited in this White House analysis of the cuts. He also criticized Ryan for plans to cut a college tuition tax credit.
via Biden Hits Ryan for Education Cuts in VP Debate.
A Romney administration would mean cuts to early-childhood education, K-12, and higher ed., at least according to a new ad running in swing states by Priorities USA, a pro-Obama political action committee that’s running in six swing states.
via New Pro-Obama PAC Ad Slams Romney on Education Funding.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in his most detailed comments about education spending yet, pledged during Wednesday night’s debate with President Barack Obama in Denver that he would not cut federal education funding if elected—even as he made the case that he’s the best choice to rein in a mounting deficit.
“I’m not going to cut education funding. I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and—and grants that go to people going to college…I’m not planning on making changes there,” said Romney, who for the first time specifically addressed education spending—something he’s been continually attacked on by the Obama campaign. “I don’t want to cut our commitment to education. I want to make it more effective and efficient.”
via Romney: ‘I’m Not Going to Cut Education Funding’.
So I’m sure you’ve heard by now that there’s a huge teachers’ strike going on back in President Barack Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago. Steve Sawchuk has a must-read on this.
But how will it play in the presidential campaign?
Already, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, put out a statement saying he’s “disappointed” by the union’s decision to strike, and that Obama has picked his dog in this political fight (the unions).
via How Will Chicago Teachers’ Strike Impact the 2012 Race?.