The U.S. Department of Education today released non-regulatory guidance to help support the nation’s educators and elevate the teaching profession. The guidance encourages states and districts to prepare, train, and recruit high-quality teachers and principals to increase student academic achievement. With the enactment of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states and districts have the opportunity to reimagine the way Title II, Part A funds can be used through driving innovation and building on evidence to better support educators.
“As a student, teacher, and principal, I know firsthand the powerful difference educators make in our children’s future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Educators play a critical role in securing our nation’s economic future and delivering on the promise of an excellent education for all children, especially those who have been historically underserved. That’s why we are releasing guidance to help us better support our educators and ensure they not only have a seat at the table, but their voices are heard. We don’t just want educators to be part of the change; we need them to lead it.”
The U.S. Department of Education today released non-regulatory guidance to help states, districts and schools provide effective services to improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement of English learners (ELs) through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidance is an effort to ensure that students who are English learners receive the high-quality services they need to be college and career ready.
“In too many places across the country, English learners get less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, and less access to the resources they need to succeed. Together, we can change that reality,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, we have an opportunity to give students the gift of bilingualism and of multilingualism so they are prepared for college and career with a better sense of themselves, their community, their future, and a better appreciation for our diversity as a country.”
Pursuing high-quality post secondary education is one of the most important investments a student can make, and is the surest path to the middle class in our country. Americans with college degrees are more likely to live healthier lives, be more civically engaged in their communities, have good-paying jobs, and experience greater job security. America’s students, families, and economic strength depend on a higher education system that helps everyone succeed. Achieving this goal requires making college more accessible and affordable—especially for historically underserved students—and ensuring that students graduate in a timely way with a meaningful degree that sets them up to thrive in careers and life.
That is why the Obama Administration has taken strong actions since 2009 to offset the rising costs of higher education, including expanding Pell Grants—federal financial aid offered to undergraduate students from lower-income families—and making student debt more manageable.
Hundreds of thousands more children across the country have access to high-quality early learning programs today, compared to the beginning of the Obama Administration.
In 2013, President Obama put forth his bold Preschool for All proposal to establish a federal-state partnership that would provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. After the President’s call, many states took action and today, all but four states offer preschool to young children. Overall, in the 2015-16 budget year, states increased their investments in preschool programs by nearly $767 million or 12 percent over the 2014-15 fiscal year. And, from 2009 to 2015, states enrolled 48,000 more 4-year-olds enrollment in state preschool.
The Obama Administration has increased investments by over $6 billion in early childhood programs from FY 2009 to FY 2016, including high-quality preschool, Head Start, child care subsidies, evidence-based home visiting, and programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
“In America, opportunity can never be rationed. It cannot be a perk set aside for some and denied to others. Opportunity must be available to all. Opportunity and education are not only the foundation of our economy, they are also the foundation of our democracy and the American way of life.” – U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr.
President Barack Obama entered office in 2009 with a comprehensive vision for improving our education system to advance our children’s opportunity and success. That vision included efforts to address the dropout crisis, improve student achievement, and increase graduation rates; expand equity in education through stronger schools; give more of our youngest learners access to high-quality early childhood education; ensure all students achieve high standards that prepare them for college and career; grow innovation and investment in what works, while safeguarding the right of all students to a world-class education; and have the opportunity to complete an affordable high-quality college education.
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released today new tools to improve school climates, ensure safety, and support student achievement in our nation’s schools.
To the extent a local decision is made to use school resource officers (SROs) in community schools, these resources will help state and local education and law enforcement agencies responsibly incorporate SROs in the learning environment. Additionally, the Departments have highlighted tools available for law enforcement agencies that also apply to campus law enforcement agencies.
“As educators, we are all bound by a sacred trust to protect the well-being, safety, and extraordinary potential of the children, youth and the young adults within the communities we serve,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. “School resource officers can be valuable assets in creating a positive school environment and keeping kids safe. But we must ensure that school discipline is being handled by trained educators, not by law enforcement officers. At the college level, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing has important recommendations that can help campus and local law enforcement both keep students safe and safeguard students’ civil rights.”
The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of $2.5 million in grants to operate 23 Community Parent Resource Centers in 17 states and a Parent Training and Information Center to serve American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The centers provide parents with the training and information they need to work with professionals in meeting the early intervention and special needs of children with disabilities.
With the new grants, the Department now funds 87 information centers for parents of children and youth with disabilities. Every state has at least one Parent Training and Information Center that assists parents as they work to ensure their children receive a free, appropriate public education as guaranteed by federal law. In addition, the centers provide services to underserved parents of children with disabilities in targeted communities throughout the country.
As students begin the new school year, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are calling on states and districts to help enroll students in health care coverage during school registration processes and ensure students have access to the health coverage they need.
Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson joined the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), AASA, The School Superintendents Association and other officials at Cardozo Education Campus for a roundtable discussion highlighting best practices for getting more students enrolled in health care. CDF and AASA have developed the Insure All Children toolkit, informed by extensive work with districts in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, on how schools and districts can enroll students in health care coverage through routine school registration processes.
The U.S. Department of Education today took a series of actions to protect students and taxpayers by banning ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) from enrolling new students using federal financial aid funds, and stepping up financial oversight of the for-profit educational provider.
This move follows determinations made by the school’s accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) that ITT “is not in compliance, and is unlikely to become in compliance with [ACICS] Accreditation Criteria.” This comes amid increasingly heightened financial oversight measures put in place by the Department beginning in 2014 and continued and expanded in June 2016 due to significant concerns about ITT’s administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability and ability to serve students.
A student who misses just two days of school each month — 18 days total in the year — is considered to be chronically absent. However, many parents don’t realize that, even when excused or understandable, absences add up and can greatly impact a child’s education. In the United States, more than 6 million children are chronically absent from school each year.
New research released today by the Ad Council found that an overwhelming majority (86%) of parents understand their child’s school attendance plays a big role in helping them graduate from high school. However, nearly half (49%) of parents believe that it is okay for their children to miss three or more days of school per month – and that they won’t fall behind academically if they do. In reality, missing just two days of school per month makes children more likely to fall behind and less likely to graduate.