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    Entries in education funding (4)

    Friday
    Aug242018

    The Week in Public Finance: After Teacher Strikes, Voters Will Get a Say on Education Funding

    Support for raising teacher pay is near historic highs, but is it enough for voters -- some in red states -- to approve tax increases?
    BY  AUGUST 24, 2018

    Teachers protested outside the Colorado state Capitol in Denver this spring. (AP/David Zalubowski)

    For a summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    After wide-scale teacher walkouts and strikes in six states this spring, support for teacher raises is nearing an all-time high. That could be a determining factor this fall in three states where voters will be asked to approve changes to boost school funding.

    Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma all have ballot measures on education funding and saw teacher walkouts this year. According to a new poll by the journal Education Next, nearly two out of every three respondents in those states, and others with teacher strikes, favor raising teacher pay -- a 16-point jump since last year. Nationally, about half of respondents support increasing teacher pay, the second-highest it has been in the survey's 12-year history.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr032017

    How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education

    A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it's having trouble catching on.
    BY  APRIL 3, 2017

    When mathematician John Ewing started lobbying state governments to adopt a new model for keeping top teachers in the classroom, he anticipated all the usual pushback over funding and resources. One thing he didn’t anticipate was a resistance to the idea in general.

    In education right now, “the focus is on everything that’s not working," he says. By contrast, his model "invests in teachers that are doing a really good job.”

    In 2009, fellow mathematician and philanthropist Jim Simons called and asked Ewing to help him take over his fledgling nonprofit to provide continuing education for K-12 math teachers in New York City. But the organization, called Math for America (MfA), eventually evolved into a larger fellowship program aimed at cultivating and keeping top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in public schools.

    It’s an appealing concept at a time when keeping good teachers is becoming harder and harder.

    On average, one-third of teachers leave the profession within five years. Burnout is blamed for the short tenure. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers say they feel daily stress on a level that’s shared by doctors and lawyers.

    When teachers are that stressed, the report notes, it not only compromises their health and quality of life but also adversely impacts their teaching performance. That, in turn, can harm students' academic performance and behavior. The report recommends mentoring programs, social emotional learning and mindfulness as proven ways to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.

    That's where MfA comes in.

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    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Pleas for More Education Funding Fall Short on Election Day

    Voters in two states rejected measures that would have raised taxes -- either for consumers or corporations.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Voters in two financially-struggling states have struck down proposed tax increases that would have given more much-needed funding to education.

    Public education was one of the biggest casualties of the Great Recession. Nearly a decade since it started, nearly half of states are still providing less general funding for schools than they were the year the economy tanked. But the rejections on election night reflect a feeling among taxpayers that governments are punting on a problem by passing on costs to them, rather than making their own difficult decisions.

    In Oregon, which is facing a $1.3 billion deficit, voters shot down a proposal to impose a tax hike on corporations with more than $25 million in annual sales in the state. Opponents, largely corporations, called it a sales tax in disguise because they warned businesses would pass on the costs to consumers.

    Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the campaign to defeat the tax, told the The Oregonian/OregonLive that Measure 97 "fell of its own weight when people understood what it would do."

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    Friday
    Mar042016

    The Week in Public Finance: School Shutdowns, Trading Munis and Small Business Lending

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  MARCH 4, 2016

    Education Opens Closes Doors

    One of states' top spending items is education. When lawmakers can’t agree on a budget -- or they decide to make severe cuts -- higher education often gets hurt. Sometimes, even K-12 spending takes a hit. In Illinois and Pennsylvania, ongoing stalemates over the current fiscal year’s budget may lead to school closures. In Louisiana, potential major cuts have students protesting.

    Let’s start in Illinois, where three state universities have taken severe hits. Last Friday, Chicago State University sent layoff notices to all 900 of its employees. The school is making plans to end its semester early unless the state makes good on funding promises. That alarming news came after Western Illinois University announced it would cut $20 million from its budget over the next two years, while laying off 100 employees. Southern Illinois University is contemplating $40 million in cuts and has already started closing programs, such as men’s tennis and women’s golf. Most recently, Eastern Illinois University, which saw its credit rating downgraded to junk status last month, laid off nearly 200 employees, although the school president offered assurances that the university was not closing.

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