December Government Relations Update

Impact of the American Jobs Act on Education The Department of Education released two interactive maps that display the American Jobs Act’s estimated impact on every state and school district in the nation. These maps and the downloadable dataset behind them can be found here, while the full report, which includes a state-by-state appendix that integrates state- and school district-level data detailing the education investments of the American Jobs Act, is available here.

Distance Education Data The Department of Education’s National Center for Education recently released a report, “Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2009-10” featuring data on student enrollment in distance education courses, educator monitoring and technology used in distance education.

Educational Data Usage in the States The Data Quality Campaign has released a new annual report, showing that although states have significantly increased their data system capacity and usage, there is still a lot of progress to be made in using that data to help education stakeholders find ways to improve student achievement. Find further information here.

Funding for Title I Schools The Department’s Policy and Program Studies Service (PPSS) recently released a report analyzing school-level spending and teacher salary data, which reveals that low-income schools are not receiving an equitable distribution of state and local funding from school districts. This first-ever collection of school-level expenditure data from across the nation represented more than 13,000 school districts for the 2008-09 school year. The PPPS’s accompanying policy brief found that providing low-income schools with comparable spending would cost just 1% to 4% of the average district’s total school-level spending, and recommended fixing the Title I “comparability of services” loophole (which allows districts to show comparability in less rigorous ways) to assist low-spending, high-poverty schools and add between 4% and 15% to their budgets – changes that have also been proposed in the Administration’s Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.