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.
The Bureau of Indian Education Hasn’t Told the Public How Its Schools Are Performing. So We Did It Instead.
For years, federal law has required all school systems to publicly report how well they help children learn. But the federal government’s own Bureau of Indian Education has failed to do so, despite repeated warnings about the quality of education Native American children receive in its schools.
Biden Justice Department Says Its Interests Align With Conservative Christian Schools Concerned About Religious Liberty
The Justice Department in a court filing Tuesday said it can “vigorously” defend a religious exemption from federal civil rights law that allows federally funded religious schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students, a move that surprised some LGBTQ advocates who said the wording went further than just an obligation to defend an existing law.
In the filing, the Biden administration said it “shares the same ultimate objective” as the conservative Christian schools named in the case.
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.
The lesson today, class, is how to turn bipartisan legislation encouraging teaching of civics into an ideological food fight.
The legislation in question seemed noncontroversial at first, even boring. It would authorize $1 billion a year in grants to pay for more civics education. The goal was to better balance a test-driven K-12 education system that focuses heavily on math and reading with a subject — civics — that has gotten less attention and far less money in recent years.
Civics is critical, backers say, to maintaining a functioning democracy.
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: