Federal P-12 Policy & Funding
As the funding landscape continues to evolve, it will be critically important to understand the nuances of the organizations that fund P-12 schools
The U.S. Department of Education provides an overview of its role in the federal funding cycle.
A report from Frontline Education is a reminder of how school funding is broken down, with about 10 percent coming from the federal government.
To understand the P-12 policy and funding landscape, it’s important to understand how the federal funding process for education works.
Understand the Timeline
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can the Latino College Gap Be Solved?
Texas Public Radio series sheds new light on sources of struggle for higher education students in majority Latino San Antonio, as well as innovative support systems that are making gains
(EWA Radio Episode 294)
For Texas student Andres Mendoza, the difference between fulfilling his dream of attending a four-year university away from home and opting for a lower-cost local community college was an unexpected bill for a family funeral.
‘Unlevel Playing Fields’ for Girls’ Sports
As Title IX turns 50, a new investigation finds the federal law is failing to protect girls’ access to sports, and many parents and students don’t know the rights afforded by the landmark equity law
(EWA Radio Episode 293)
Title IX prohibits gender-based discrimination in school programs that receive federal funding – but how fairly is the law being applied, especially when it comes to girls’ high school sports? A reporting team of nearly two dozen student journalists at the University of Maryland, College Park, set out to answer that question in a wide-ranging project.
Miguel Cardona’s First Year
Tenure of U.S. secretary of education marked by persistence of pandemic, mountain of COVID relief aid, political shift in Washington
(EWA Radio Episode 286)
President Biden’s education secretary, Miguel Cardona, is marking his first year in office. And what a year it has been – not just for the federal agency but for schools, educators, students, and families.
How to Cover the Complex World of Child Care Funding
Learn about how child care programs braid funding together—and still struggle to survive.
The fractured state of the child care industry has become especially clear during the coronavirus pandemic, as thousands of child care centers have closed permanently, and many more are struggling to find workers and survive economically.
Many of the issues facing these centers are related to the complexities of funding and lack of public investment in child care. It is expensive to provide, unaffordable for many families, and child care workers make such meager wages that many live in poverty, something that has led to an exodus of early educators during the pandemic.
Celebrating 75 Years!
As those in education and journalism work to recover from an extended pandemic, bringing together the community has never been more critical. The Education Writers Association’s 75th annual National Seminar will provide a long-awaited opportunity to gather in person for three days of training, networking, and inspiration.
Harvey Ellington was 7 the first time someone told him the state of Mississippi considered Holmes County Consolidated School District a failing district. Holmes had earned a D or an F almost every year since then, and Ellington felt hollowed out with embarrassment every time someone rattled off the ranking. Technically, the grade measured how well, or how poorly, Ellington and his classmates performed on the state’s standardized tests, but he knew it could have applied to any number of assessments.
With federal stimulus funds set to be released to states this summer, how can reporters prepare to cover and track developments in the essential early care and education sector?
As the field seeks to recover from the pandemic, experts offered guidance on what to watch for during a May 5 session at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 National Seminar. They also suggested story ideas for education journalists to explore in the year ahead.
The participants were:
- Katie Hamm, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Caitlin McLean, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
- Rochelle Wilcox, Wilcox Academy of Early Learning
- Jackie Mader, The Hechinger Report (Moderator)
Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?
Experts outline problems with - and efforts to improve - use of SAT scores, affirmative action, school lotteries.
It is one of the thorniest topics in education: What criteria should be used to fairly determine which students are admitted to America’s “elite” public schools, colleges and universities?
Many top schools have faced criticism in recent decades for not reflecting the nation’s racial and socioeconomic diversity.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to Speak at EWA’s National Seminar
Confirmed speakers include educational leaders, researchers and experts.
The Education Writers Association is delighted to announce that U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will speak – and field questions from journalists – at the virtual National Seminar to be held May 3-5, 2021
The nearly $2 trillion stimulus package President Joe Biden signed into law last week contains an historic infusion of federal aid for schools, colleges and universities. Education journalists will play an important role in shedding light on the uses and impacts of that funding – over $125 billion for K-12 and nearly $40 billion for higher education.
Where exactly will the money from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 go? How will it be used? Will the funds “rescue” the schools and students with the highest needs?
The Education Writers Association’s 74th National Seminar will focus on the theme of “Now What? Reporting on Education Amid Uncertainty.” Four afternoons of conversations, training and presentations will give attendees deeper understanding of these crises, as well as tools, skills and context to help them better serve their communities — and advance their careers.
To be held May 2-5, 2021, the seminar will feature education newsmakers, including leaders, policy makers, researchers, practitioners and journalists. And it will offer practical data and other skills training.
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.
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: