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Everyone’s Getting Straight A’s: Senate Committee Boosts Funding for Early Childhood Education

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July 17, 2013 04:25 pm

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We’re back with another edition of Straight A’s, the Alliance’s bi-weekly education newsletter! We round up reports, hearings, and the biggest news in educaton in each issue and bring it straight to your inbox (or RSS feed… or twitter feed… or facebook feed… or…)! You can read the full issue online here. If you would like to receive it in your email, send a message to jamos@all4ed.org. Here are snippets from this week’s articles.

On July 11, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $164 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education appropriations bill. Of the total, $69.2 billion, which includes Pell Grants, is pegged for the U.S. Department of Education. Although the bill will not fund President Obama’s high school redesign program, it would provide a significant increase for early childhood education, slight increases for Title I and special education, and $250 million for a new Race to the Top program that encourages states to improve college affordability, access, completion, and quality. Destination Unknown

During the week of July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act. The bill, named the Student Success Act, passed the House Education and the Workforce Committee on June 19 on a party-line vote, and according to House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), it would “reduce the federal footprint” in education. ESEA Update

Cutting the number of high school dropouts in half nationally would save $7.3 billion in annual Medicaid spending, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, Well and Well-Off: Decreasing Medicaid and Health-Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment, examines Medicaid spending for all fifty states and the District of Columbia on four key afflictions-alcoholism, heart disease, obesity, and smoking-as well as determines overall Medicaid savings. Support for the report was provided in part by State Farm® as part of a series of documents that demonstrates the economic benefits from improving high school graduation rates. Well and Well-Off

On July 2, the Alliance for Excellent Education joined more than fifty national organizations-representing nearly every aspect of the nation’s education system-in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act swiftly to provide 99 percent of America’s students with high-speed wireless internet access through next-generation broadband in schools and libraries within five years. Broad Support for Broadband

By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs-compared to 28 percent in 1973-will require some form of postsecondary education, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. At the other end of the education spectrum, the percentage of jobs requiring a high school diploma or less will continue to shrink. According to the report, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020, 72 percent of jobs were open to high school graduates in 1973; by 2020, that percentage is expected to fall to just 36 percent. Future Shock

After several years of large budget gaps and drastic cuts in spending to close them, fiscal distress is beginning to subside for most states, according to The Fiscal Survey of States, released last month by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Even with the improving economic environment, however, the unemployment rate remains high and economic recovery is “relatively weak,” compared to other post-recessionary periods, the report warns. As a result, most states are expected to only “moderately” increase spending in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The Fiscal Survey of States

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