State officials are closely watching as the U.S. Department of Education releases more information on what the new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, changes in accountability system requirements and funding mechanisms. As states grapple with the upcoming changes to federal requirements, it is important to know about the increased flexibility for state and local policymakers. This FREE CSG eCademy webcast explores what the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act means for state leaders, with a focus on accountability systems and data policy.

CSG Midwest
Indiana legislators want more of their state’s “best and brightest” to enter the teaching profession, and they plan to spend $10 million on a plan to steer young people in that career direction. HB 1002, signed into law in March, establishes a Next Generation Hoosiers Education Scholarship.
CSG Midwest
Few issues related to American education policy have consistently stirred more controversy over as many years as has the question of how best to teach students whose first language is something other than English.
In a nation whose history is marked by waves of newcomers arriving from countries around the world, the appropriate language of public education has been debated since the first European settlers arrived in the 17th century, and the pendulum of public opinion on the subject has swung many times.
The debate over bilingual education and competing models for the instruction of non-English speaking students may be rooted in our colonial past, but it wasn’t until 1839 that Ohio became the nation’s first state to formally authorize bilingual teaching in public schools.

States that received a portion of the $35 million in federal funds awarded last fall through the Workforce Innovation Fund, or WIF, are starting to put their proposed program innovations into action to modernize the way they get people the training and assistance they need to obtain family-supporting jobs and develop a strong workforce for local businesses. In September 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded WIF grants to five states—Connecticut, Minnesota, Kansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania—and one inter-tribal council to integrate their workforce systems through approaches consistent with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, or WIOA. Three of those states—Kansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania—shared how they are working to develop systems to support job seekers in a holistic manner and connect them with employers through interdepartmental and industry partnerships.

State officials are closely watching as the U.S. Department of Education releases more information on what the new act changes in accountability system requirements and funding mechanisms. The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB, is the product of bipartisan efforts in Congress to give states greater control of accountability and academic standards.

by Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris

Closing the skills gap has become almost cliché, but a few short years ago that was not the case. The United States was caught flat-footed by the reshoring of advanced manufacturing in America.

While the House and Senate have been grappling with updating the No Child Left Behind law since 2007, it has become apparent to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that the states have grown weary with the federally driven systems for holding schools accountable for student performance. Setting goals and timelines for academic progress will be at the forefront of state leaders’ minds in 2016 as progress continues on updating the main federal K-12 education law. ...

As of Feb. 2, 2016, scholarship tax credits were available in 18 states. Scholarship tax credit programs are used to provide a form of school choice, allowing individuals or corporations to receive a tax credit on state taxes for donations made to grant private school scholarships. Scholarship tax credit programs are also known as tuition tax credits and education tax credits. Some states provide parents the opportunity to deduct all or a portion of their child’s private school tuition from their state taxes. Others provide corporations the ability to donate to an approved non-profit scholarship funding organization and apply for a tax credit for the donation.

On Dec. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, an important case that addresses the constitutionality of considering race in public university admissions decisions. Fisher v. Texas dates back to 2008 when Sugar Land High School student Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin, or UT-Austin. The facts in Fisher v. Texas reflect the decades-long evolution of the use of race as a factor in university admissions. Currently eight states ban race-based affirmative action at all public universities. Despite the bans, public flagship universities in nearly all of these states have implemented alternative methods to promote racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity on campus.

CSG Midwest
In 2012, concerned about the high rate of students who had to take remedial-level math and English classes during their first year of college, Ohio legislators decided to intervene. And the early results under HB 153 are promising. With this law in place, Ohio now sets college readiness indicators across all of its public colleges and universities. These statewide standards are then used to determine which students are placed into remedial-level versus college-level classes during their freshman year.