Federal K-12 Policy & Funding
Here’s a slimmed-down rundown of how the federal funding process for education works.
Each federal fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following calendar year. This schedule, in theory, dictates the basic federal funding schedule.
Below is some information about a few of the largest Education Department programs for K-12 education and their funding levels as of fiscal 2020, unless otherwise noted. The names Title I, Title II, and Title IV refer to sections of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Although the U.S. Department of Education is the largest source of federal aid for education, a variety of other federal agencies provide some support.
The Every Student Succeeds Act is the main federal K-12 law for education. It is the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ESSA was signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, and received bipartisan support in Congress.
Want an easy way to have ESSA explained? This Education Week video provides highlights of the law.
Here’s some more history behind ESSA and what it does.
A few of the terms below are phrases. A few are acronyms. Some might think they’re all jargon. But you might see them kicking around when federal education policy and funding are discussed.
1. Is the main federal K-12 law a civil rights law?
This question about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act can provoke all kinds of different answers and provide a good history lesson. Some, such as former Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., say the answer is yes. His argument is that ESEA is intended to prevent discrimination against disadvantaged students and children of color in the education system, and should be used to promote their advancement.
“Approved ESSA Plans: Explainer and Key Takeaways From Each State,” from Education Week.
“Title I: Rich School Districts Get Millions Meant for Poor Kids,” from U.S. News and World Report (2016).
Who Is Miguel Cardona?
President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for education secretary prioritizes equity, data, and collaboration, say Connecticut Mirror reporters
(EWA Radio Episode 259)
Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona has surged into the national spotlight as President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
President-elect Joe Biden is calling for $130 billion in additional COVID-19 relief funding for schools, ramped up testing efforts, and accelerated vaccine distribution strategies to help reopen “the majority of K-8 schools” within the first 100 days of his administration.
The proposals, which Biden announced in a speech Thursday night, are part of a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that also seeks $350 billion in aid to state, local, and territorial governments.
How Will Your Community Benefit From the New $81 Billion in Pandemic Relief for Education?
Experts explain ins and outs of new aid flowing to schools and universities, and how to track it
More than $81 billion in new stimulus aid is coming to schools and universities as part of the new federal COVID relief measure. Get a quick introduction to tracking the money that will flow to the schools you cover in this EWA webinar.
Two policy experts explain:
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, one of President Trump’s longest-serving and most loyal Cabinet members and also one of his most controversial, submitted her resignation Thursday, citing the president’s role in the riot on Capitol Hill.
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” she wrote in a letter to President Trump. The behavior of the “violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol” was “unconscionable,” she wrote.
The coronavirus crisis has taken some of the “most painful disparities” in America’s schools and “wrenched them open even wider,” Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona said as President-elect Joe Biden introduced him as his choice for U.S. secretary of education Wednesday.
Cardona laid out a two-fold vision of helping schools, educators, and families rebound from the pandemic while also addressing long-standing concerns about equity and opportunity.
AS CONGRESS TIES THE bow on a long-awaited and contentious coronavirus relief package, superintendents, principals and educators are disappointed – though not surprised – by how little aid it includes for their efforts to reopen the country’s public school system for millions of children who have been learning remotely since the pandemic shuttered schools in March.
The fiscal 2021 spending deal unveiled by Congress Monday includes relatively small increases for aid to disadvantaged students, special education, career and technical education, and the office for civil rights.
In addition, the bill funding the U.S. Department of Education ends the longstanding prohibition on using federal aid on transportation initiatives to desegregate schools.
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Miguel Cardona, the education commissioner for Connecticut and a former public school teacher, to serve as education secretary.
Read the full story here.