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If your education role is in the area of Title I or IDEA, or if you would just like a better picture of how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will impact public schools over the next couple of years, you owe it to yourself to read the overviews of each of the major program components put up on the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) website earlier this week. Although unanswered questions remain, the series of documents offer a thorough summary of ARRA as it applies to education. Continue reading
Find the latest information on education funding in the Stimulus package at the USDE website.
School district level estimates have now been added to the website for the Title 1 component of the package which provides over $70 million in additional aid over two years. It looks like about ½ of all districts will receive funding-consistent with distribution of regular Title I aid-and about ½ will receive little or no aid. Continue reading
A month ago, if you told towns and school boards that big education aid, Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants and some of the major categorical grants like Transportation, would not be cut in either year of the most potentially disastrous fiscal biennium on record, you would have heard a huge sigh of relief from Windham to Norwalk, from Torrington to New London. In the face of draconian education funding cuts, level funding seemed a very positive outcome. And the immediate reaction to the Governor’s budget announcement last week, that education aid to towns would not be greatly reduced in the next two years, did seem to be positive. But there are a couple of reasons why the education funding picture is still pending the proverbial falling of the “other shoe”. Continue reading
Last week Connecticut’s travel and tourism proponents made the case that a dollar of spending to market our state can yield nine times that amount in revenues. Facing cuts in state spending, it’s a good argument for the industry to make: Don’t make cuts that will only make the revenue picture worse down the road. To see a similar argument applied to public education spending as part of a fiscal stimulus package, read on. Continue reading
I am on board with the Federal bailouts of Wall Street, the big banks, the auto industry and housing mortgage situation. If the economy can’t be saved from a total meltdown, we are all going down with it. So President Obama and Congress—do what you have to do on that front.
I also like the new President’s idea of rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure as an economic engine in the years ahead. And that kind of program can certainly help state and local governments. But in the short term, there is something Washington can do for state and local governments nationwide—something simple, something powerful, and something long overdue. Increase federal funding for IDEA—special education, and do it now. Continue reading