Capitol Hill’s budget arm says that among the many options federal lawmakers have for cutting the budget deficit, they could consider eliminating Head Start and federally supported school meal programs.
The Congressional Budget Office’s “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028” is the latest in a series of reports the office releases to help lawmakers consider options for reducing the federal deficit, which in fiscal 2018 stood at $778 billion, or 3.8 percent of gross domestic product. There are a total of 121 possibilities the CBO lists for reducing the deficit, and there are a few programs listed that education policy advocates and observers might be interested in. The report also explores changes to Pell Grants and certain loan forgiveness programs available to teachers.
Keep in mind that this report from the CBO doesn’t require or place any burden on Congress to do anything—the office is just listing options for lawmakers to consider. Also: The CBO isn’t explicitly endorsing any of these options.
Child Nutrition Programs
Instead of the current funding and structure provided to school meal programs, the CBO outlines an approach familiar to many who deal with education policy and politics: block grants.
“This option would convert SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps] and the child nutrition programs to separate, smaller block grants to the states beginning in October 2019. The block grants would provide a set amount of funding to states each year, and states would be allowed to make significant changes to the structure of the programs,” the report states.
The budget analysts say this approach would reduce total spending on child nutrition programs by $88 billion, while savings for SNAP would be $160 million over the same time period. Spending on child nutrition programs like school lunch totaled $23 billion in fiscal 2018…
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Despite past pledges to shrink or eliminate the U.S. Department of Education, the spending bill that President Donald Trump signed into law provides a small boost to the department’s budget for this fiscal year.
The increase of $581 million for fiscal 2019 brings the Education Department budget to roughly $71.5 billion. It’s the second year in a row Trump has agreed to boost federal education spending—last March, Trump approved spending levels that increased the budget by $2.6 billion for fiscal 2018.
The spending deal for fiscal 2019, signed late last month, includes relatively small increases for Title I (the main federal education program for disadvantaged students), special education, charter schools, career and technical education, and other programs. Although fiscal 2019 began on Oct. 1, the agreement mostly impacts the 2019-20 school year.
In addition to Education Department programs, funding for Head Start—which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services—now stands at $10.1 billion, a $240 million increase from fiscal 2018. And Preschool Development Grants, also run by HHS, are level-funded at $250 million.
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The office of nonpublic education, which was previously part of the soon-to-be-defunct office of innovation and improvement, will now report directly to the office of the secretary. DeVos is a longtime advocate for vouchers, tax credit scholarships, and other forms of private school choice.
That move and other reorganization changes were first reported by Politico.
DeVos is also planning to move the department’s budget office, which she has reportedly sought to eliminate, into a new office of finance and operations. That office’s other jobs will include finance, accounting, budgets, contract management, personnel, business data analysis and more.
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Construction of the new St. Paul’s Hollywood Library branch is underway. Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) and Charleston County Government officials kicked off the construction of the new facility during a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 30. The 15,000-square foot facility will be located on Highway 165 next to the new Hollywood Town Hall.
The new library will include:
Adult, children and teen areas
An auditorium that can be divided into two meeting rooms (100-person capacity)
A meeting room/makerspace for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects (25-person capacity)
Learning Lab (Computer Instruction Room)
Contemporary Lowcountry Design
The library branch, which is scheduled to open in late 2019, will be part of a larger municipal complex that will include the new Hollywood Town Hall building as well as an aquatics center operated by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission.
Local residents approved a referendum to build five new libraries, and renovate or upgrade 13 others in November 2014. The first phase of the overall project was designed to solicit community input for the five new library locations. One of CCPL’s top priorities during this process involved obtaining practical information from public library users. The Glick Boehm architectural firm presented their design of the new branch during a community meeting in June 2017. Visit bit.ly/stpaulshollywood to see the design.
Visit www.ccpl.org/construction for monthly status updates and to view updated branch designs presented during past community meetings.
Over the course of last spring I had the opportunity to sit down with dozens of parents to hear their take on the promise of a personalized learning environment for their child. What I heard were two very different visions of what personalization could look like. As the lower school head at a progressive independent school in Silicon Valley, I conducted the final parent interview before admissions decisions were made. I asked every set of parents to tell me what about our school model resonated with them. Parents invariably responded: “Personalized learning!” I was struck by how they each described their vision of a personalized learning classroom so differently. I realized that as a school we would need to provide clarity on what personalization meant to us.
The ways in which schools personalize learning are far from universal, and the available options require compromises that few educators have started talking about. As teachers and principals around the country ponder how to leverage technology to provide a more personalized learning experience for students this school year, they, too, will need to decide what they value.
The term “personalized learning” has been on the rise over the last decade. According to Google Trends, use of the term really started taking off in 2013. But for all that searching, the phrase seems to mean anything or nothing. The visions and values that fall under the brand of “personalized learning” are as different as the beliefs people have about “healthy eating,” from Keto to Atkins diets.
“Personalization” is not a set of common tactics. There are schools that personalize by having 90 kids sit in a gymnasium working on adaptive software. Some schools personalize by turning over to students all decisions about how, when, and where to work. Some schools provide one-on-one teaching throughout the day. Others personalize by giving students “flex time.” There are also schools that characterize personalization as tracking, differentiation, and individualized education programs.
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Osmon Best carefully looked at the eight steps to make a paper football.
After successfully crafting the football, the 12-year-old Thomas Johnson Middle School student stood it on a makeshift Washington Redskins table and plucked it to the other side. Touchdown!
Best and 39 other students from Thomas Johnson and Oxon Hill Middle School participated in various STEM projects Wednesday at the Howard B. Owens Science Center.
“I made a touchdown, but missed a field goal,” Osmon said while smiling at the engineering station.
The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade participants, decked out in blue “Pepco STEM All-Stars” T-shirts, were recognized for their academic achievements. The schools they attend are recognized as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) buildings.
The students from Thomas Johnson in Lanham would matriculate to DuVal High School, which has an aviation program. The Oxon Hill students would feed into Oxon Hill High School and can enroll in its science and technology program.
“This is intentional,” said Monica Goldson, interim CEO for the county schools system. “We hope at sometime during this three-year experience that something has grasped them to give them the courage they need to say, ‘I can do that, too.’”
During Wednesday’s event, students dispersed to four STEM stations, which all focused on a football concept.
At the mathematics station, Thuy Pham, 12, answered three questions based on a touchdown equaling seven points, a field goal equaling three points and a safety at two points.
One of the questions: If a quarterback completed 80 percent of the 35 passes he threw in the past three games, how many did he miss? The answer: seven.
“This was fun. I want to be a math teacher,” said Thuy, a seventh-grade student at Thomas Johnson. “My parents used to be math teachers, so it’s kind of a generational thing.”
The climax of the day came when students worked together on a few combination locks to open a black box.
Goldson led a countdown to open the boxes, which were filled with clues to let the students know they will attend Sunday’s Washington Redskins game at FedEx Field in Landover against the Carolina Panthers. She said tickets will also be provided for the student’s parents, courtesy of the Redskins and Pepco.
“Oh, yeah!” one student yelled from across the room.
Don’t miss Educators Appreciation Day at Mystic Seaport Museum on October 20! CEA members and their families (up to four people total with teacher ID) will receive free Mystic Seaport Museum admission.
Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore the museum and learn more about the seaport’s educational programs and classroom connections. Education Department staff will be on hand to discuss program offerings and answer questions. In addition to the museum’s regular activities, there will be a special agenda of activities just for educators and their families.
Maybe it’s because my son has now reached my own height (which is insane). I find myself staring now and then at the doorway out of my kitchen, where all these little height marks on the doorjamb are labeled with a name and a date. I can see that year when he sprouted up a ton in the four months between his birthday and the start of the school year. And – almost too much to bear—I can see how tall he was at age 15 months.
There are some things from back then that I can’t see on the doorjamb. I can’t see just when he first spoke in full sentences, or when he first spent the night in big boy underpants. But those sure mattered a lot for how we adapted our parenting focus, while they were happening.
How do we measure these milestones, and what kinds of growth do we capture? It’s a critical question in early literacy, too.
Early Literacy in the MAP Suite
We designed our MAP Suite of assessments in early literacy to handle a parallel reality, around measuring what matters in these developmental years. You can see this reality reflected in the nature of reading standards. In most state standards, there are some “anchor” reading standards that span the entire K–12 space, that build upon each other as kids progress in facets of reading comprehension and vocabulary. Measuring those works on a continuous scale – like a doorjamb.
In the MAP Suite, the doorjamb is our RIT scale, continuous from K through 12 in Reading. The tool that makes those height marks is MAP Growth. Even before kids can read independently, they are making progress we can measure on these standards. When a teacher reads a story aloud to her students, she is still asking them to start comparing characters or noticing cause and effect relationships. With MAP Growth K-2, audio support lets us assess reading comprehension even before kids can decode words and sentences.
But state reading standards also include those shorter-lived standards, often called Foundational Skills. These include pieces that are, well, foundational while they matter, but then disappear altogether from the standards by late elementary grades.
CHICAGO – New research published in the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research (SLR), reports the findings of two case studies focused on student reading motivation. SLR promotes and publishes high-quality original research concerning the management, implementation and evaluation of school library programs. Articles can be accessed for free at www.ala.org/aasl/slr.
Natalie Hoyle Ross, a library media center director at Spring Brook Elementary School, focused her research on school librarians’ perceived value of one children’s choice award––the Bluestem Award––and its effect on school librarians’ promotions and student behavior in the school library. To conduct her research, Ross completed a qualitative collective case study and single case study and collected data from site visits, questionnaires, book availability, book circulation and voting ballots.
Ross shares her findings in “Sparking Reading Motivation with the Bluestem: School Librarians’ Role with a Children’s Choice Award.” Results suggest that school librarians’ perceived value of the Bluestem was essential for their promotion of the award. When school librarians purchased multiple copies of Bluestem Award books and promotional material and combined these items with increased personal interaction with learners, reading motivation increased.
School Library Research (ISSN: 2165-1019) is the successor to School Library Media Research (ISSN: 1523-4320) and School Library Media Quarterly Online. The journal is peer-reviewed, indexed by H. W. Wilson’s Library Literature and by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology and continues to welcome manuscripts that focus on high-quality original research concerning the management, implementation and evaluation of school library programs.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.
Chicago—ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions announces a new eCourse bundle, Working with Children of All Ages. R. Lynn Baker and Brooke Newberry will serve as the instructors for three, 4-week eCourses starting on Monday, September 10, 2018.
Save 20% when you purchase the bundle!
When you work in youth services, you’re serving a large community of users—from babies and toddlers to preteens. Children of different ages have different needs and perspectives and require different types of expertise. If you want to learn a practical approach to working with children of all ages, our new eCourse bundle is for you. Over a three-month period, you will work closely with expert instructors that will take you from creating baby storytimes all the way through to readers’ advisory for grade-school kids. Courses included in this bundle are
Creating Meaningful Programs for Infants and Caregivers with R. Lynn Baker – 4-week eCourse; begins Sept. 10, 2018
Early care expert and education trainer R. Lynn Baker’s teaches you how to create a school readiness program that prepares children for a successful transition into kindergarten.
Planning Programs and Services for Toddlers and Preschoolers with Brooke Newberry – 4-week eCourse; begins October 8, 2018
In this course, learn the basics of storytime and programming, best practices for serving children ages 2-5, how to build a strong collection, and the basics of child development for toddlers and preschoolers.
Practical Library Services for Grade School Kids (Kindergarten through second Grade) with R. Lynn Baker – 4-week eCourse; begins Nov. 5, 2018
Learn how to create intentional, literacy-based programs for children in kindergarten through second grade.
By participating in this group of three courses, you’ll earn a Certificate of Professional Development in Childhood Development and gain a broad set of skills that will serve you throughout your career.
You can purchase for these eCourses individually or as a bundle.
Creating Meaningful Programs for Infants and Caregivers with R. Lynn Baker. Starts Monday, September 10, 2018
Week 1: Infant Development—Birth through 18 months
Week 2: Choosing Interactive Activities for Infants and Caregivers
Week 3: Choosing Developmentally Appropriate Books for Babies
Week 4: Creating an Effective Program Plan for Your Infant-Caregiver Program
Planning Programs and Services for Toddlers and Preschoolers with Brooke Newberry, Starts Monday, October 8, 2018
Week 1: Child Development for toddlers and preschoolers
Week 2: Storytime
Week 3: Beyond Storytime
Week 4: Collection Development
Practical Library Services for Grade School Kids (Kindergarten through second Grade) with R. Lynn Baker, Starts Monday, November 5, 2018
Week 1: Beginning Reading Skills that Grow from Early Literacy Practices
Week 2: Types of Programs for Children in Grades K-2
Week 3: Field Trips, Outreach, and Specialized Programs for Children
Week 4: Creating an Effective Program Plan for a K-2 Program
About the Instructors
R. Lynn Baker is the author of Counting Down to Kindergarten: A Complete Guide to Creating a School Readiness Program for Your Community and Creating Literacy-Based Programs for Children: Lesson Plans and Printable Resources for K-5. With a background in early childhood education and library programming for children, Baker provides training to early childhood educators and librarians. She holds her bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education; a trainer’s credential; and her Master’s in Library and Information Science. Baker is an adjunct professor for Northern Kentucky University, teaching Library Programming for Children.
Brooke Newberry holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Indiana University, and is the Collaborative Consultant for the Winding Rivers Library System (West Salem, WI). She currently teaches a course dedicated to serving babies in the library, previously was the Early Literacy Librarian at the La Crosse (WI) Public Library, served as chair for the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee for the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), and co-wrote the Collaborative Summer Library Program Early Literacy Manual for three years.
Registration for this ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions facilitated eCourse bundle, which begins on September 10, 2018, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions (ELS) produces high-quality professional development events and materials for the library profession. ELS events cover modern issues on a wide variety of topics in formats that include live workshops, asynchronous eCourses, and print publications. We help ensure that today’s library employees have access to the professional development opportunities they need, whether they are brushing up on the basics or expanding their horizons with cutting-edge tools. Contact us at email@example.com.
ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.