State and Federal News
How Are Districts Planning to Spend American Rescue Plan Funds?
5/18/21 – “Federal aid from the American Rescue Plan, which provided the largest pot of COVID-19 pandemic relief funds for schools to date, is making its way to states. The package, which provided nearly $123 billion through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, is prompting district leaders to plan in unprecedented ways for the next three years, as well as prepare for a fiscal cliff once those funds run dry.”
Education Department, FCC Team Up to Connect Students to Broadband
5/12/21 – “With as many as 17 million students lacking an internet connection to log into classes or complete homework online, the federal government launched a major outreach campaign Wednesday to connect as many as possible.”
Leaders Detail Approaches to Assessing Students’ Academic, Mental Health Needs
5/19/21 – “While formative and diagnostic assessments are useful tools to gauge students’ academic status, they should be administered with a specific purpose and in coordination with other measures of student learning and social and emotional wellbeing, a group of education leaders said in a webinar Tuesday hosted by the Learning Policy Institute and AASA, The School Superintendents Association.”
After Repealing Consequences for Failing Schools, Indiana Will Revisit A-F Grades
5/11/21 – “Under a new law, district schools with poor A-F state grades no longer face the threat of state seizure or the steps that precede it, such as replacing personnel or working with outside experts. Instead, the law requires that the State Board of Education create a public data dashboard that highlights certain measures of school performance, such as graduation or attendance rates.”
Gianforte Signs Bill Greatly Increasing Education Tax Credit
5/13/21 – “House Bill 279, which also expands the credit for donations to fund public-school “innovative educational” programs, increases the maximum income-tax credit from $150 a year to $200,000 – an increase of more than 13,000 percent.”
Research and Analysis
Report: State Funding Closely Linked to Student Success
5/19/21 – “State funding for public higher education institutions and student financial aid have a direct impact on student success, a new report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association concluded. The report examined 100 empirical research studies that measured the impacts of state appropriations on institutional and student outcomes.”
Policy Roundup compiled by NAfME’s Rob Edwards.