WHEREAS, the availability of a highly skilled workforce is necessary to support growth and innovation in industries such as manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, biotechnology, information technology, energy, and transportation and logistics; and

WHEREAS, the nation’s industries face challenges to attract new and more diverse talent pools, replace a long serving and experienced workforce, and close gaps in workers’ skills and credentials; and

WHEREAS, equity in education refers to fairness in programs, strategies, and opportunities for all students; and

WHEREAS, equity is achieved when all students receive the resources they need to graduate prepared for success after high school; and

The Council of State Governments will host its 2017 National Conference from December 14th-16th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The meeting will offer engaging policy sessions geared toward state officials in all three branches of government. To access copies of speaker presentations, please visit the individual session pages below.

This 90-minute session will be a helpful tool for state leaders to learn about state ESSA plans and the innovative education practices and policies each state proposed. Speakers from the U.S. Department of Education and the Education Commission of the States will lead a discussion on the shared challenges and possible policy solutions that are addressed through ESSA. This session will also cover the projected top five issues in education and workforce for 2018.

CSG Midwest
Up to 15 communities in Michigan now have the chance to become “Promise Zones,” areas of the state where local students are ensured access to college scholarships. SB 98, signed into law in November, increased the reach of a program that has been in place since 2008. Prior to the new law, the number of communities was limited to 10.
CSG Midwest
A work group established earlier this year by the Iowa Legislature has issued a series of recommendations for strengthening computer science education in the state’s K-12 schools. Ideas include:
  • allowing students to use computer science to meet certain math credit requirements (after they’ve taken courses that cover the state’s required math standards);
  • better integrating computer science courses into schools’ career and technical education pathway; and
  • eventually making computer science a part of the state’s high school graduation requirement.

By Sarah Pingel
Postsecondary education is expensive and students are paying more and more for college each year. Amid concerns about rising tuition, state legislatures have become increasingly active in tuition policy even though there’s only one state legislature—Florida’s—that has the authority to set tuition in the four-year sector and two legislatures—Florida’s and California’s—that havethe authority to do so for two-year institutions. In most states, legislatures have adopted statutes that grant the authority to set tuition to campus- or system-level boards.

While technology has opened new doors for teachers, the use of innovative technology in the classroom has resulted in the collection of sensitive student data. Many state lawmakers are now acting to secure vulnerable student information, while also allowing for the educational edge technology provides.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, states that 53.4 percent of post-secondary undergraduate students financed at least part of their education through federal loans in 2011-12, an increase from 34.4 percent in 2003-041. While the NCES’s data does not account for private loans, which would further raise this percentage, it already brings to concern the effect that increased educational borrowing will have on repayment rates and future personal financial indicators, such as credit scores.

A strong education system is essential to growing the next generation of leaders and decision-makers, but there is a growing voice for more choice in education, particularly in the form of charter schools. Two state leaders heavily involved in charter school legislation, Massachusetts state Sen. Marc Pacheco and Utah state Rep. Jefferson Moss, spoke with CSG regarding student performance, lessons from other states, school governance and charter research.

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