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This policy brief examines several case studies depicting how school districts have aligned diverse state and federal funding to increase the quality and capacity of after school programs.
Many children of color and children from low-income families enter kindergarten without the academic skills they need to succeed; these disparities in skills early on likely contribute to later achievement gaps observed during elementary school, for children who enter kindergarten already behind are unlikely to catch up. Using empirical evidence, this report suggests that implementing a high-quality universal, publicly funded, pre-k program would significantly enhance children’s development, reduce achievement gaps at kindergarten entry, and even have long-term benefits for children’s long-term school trajectories.
Teachers in publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs across the nation are increasingly expected to earn educational qualifications and credentials similar to their peers teaching older children. Yet salaries and benefits remain consistently lower for pre-K teachers than for kindergarten and elementary school teachers. This report is to explore examples of strategies that states and cities have successfully taken forward along the path toward compensation parity for pre-K teachers; it examines a small set of states and cities with the goal of understanding the policy rationale and process for moving toward compensation parity in different contexts.
As New Jersey tentatively reopens K-12 schools after being closed for over five months, many of the state’s child care providers have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the children of essential workers. Throughout this time, providers have been required to observe more restrictive group sizes and child/staff ratios, while also increasing time and resources spent on cleaning and sanitizing, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With unchanged tuition rates, these new standards push many child care providers from an already tight financial situation into one that cannot be sustained. This paper examines the impact of new and existing regulations on child care providers’ revenues and expenditures, and the subsidy rates required to financially sustain child care providers in New Jersey.
This report articulates young people’s mandate to their government—local, state, and federal—to permanently end the school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline and build a liberatory education system based on principles of inclusion, equity and racial justice. The key points of the mandate including demands to fund education, not incarceration (end federal funding for police in schools, support a pipeline to college and eliminate barriers to higher education), restore and strengthen the civil rights of young people (fund civil rights offices that uphold the rights of young people, support maximum local democratic control of the education system), and end the private takeover of schools (end funding for charter schools, fund traditional public schools).
In January 2019, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) held a six-day strike in response to challenges facing The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), resulting from LAUSD’s inability to raise local property taxes and the growing charter school sector that draws funding away from public education. The protest was largely successful, leading to a six percent pay raise for teachers, more nurses, counselors, and librarians in schools, commitments for more green space on campuses, an end to random searches of students, and more. This report examines how UTLA and Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles (ROSLA) built and carried out the campaign that ultimately led to these changes; this case study can serve as a roadmap for other school districts, labor unions, and community organizations facing similar attacks on public education.
Public school students in the U.S. suffered poorer schools—and local and state taxpayers paid higher taxes—in 2019 due to corporate tax breaks; economic development tax abatements given to corporations cost public school districts at least $2.37 billion in foregone revenue in FY 2019. This report presents case studies from schools in Louisiana, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, and Texas where schools are losing significant revenue to tax abatements. Additionally, this report makes recommendations to these states and offers suggestions to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (BASB); these recommendations include capping the share of each locality’s property and sales tax base that can be abated in the name of economic development, giving school boards control to opt in or out of tax-break deals, requiring all governments that are making abatement agreements to report the costs of such deals to all affected jurisdictions, and more.
Public school districts in South Carolina suffered a sharp increase in lost tax revenue in FY 2019 due to tax breaks granted to private corporations by county governments. The revenues of South Carolina’s school districts are reduced via state permitted programs that grant businesses tax abatements for extremely long periods of time, which could effectively be permanent exemptions. This report offers a variety of policy options to protect the public education system from corporate tax abatements; these include shielding school finance and implementing a county-based disclosure system to ensure that costs and benefits are fully visible for each employer granted an abatement.
Michigan has shifted a total of $4.5 billion intended for K-12 public schools to universities and community colleges since 2010. This cut to K-12 education was not done for the benefit of postsecondary education, but to balance the state budget and compensate for General Fund dollars that are increasingly stretched thin due to tax cuts for businesses. Until K-12 schools and programs are financed at levels recommended by experts and that fulfill statutory requirements, the government should commit to using School Aid Fund dollars only to fund Michigan’s K-12 public schools and programs at adequate levels, funding universities and community colleges at adequate levels using General Fund dollars and other existing appropriate sources, and addressing General Fund shortfalls responsibly by increasing revenue sources rather than shifting educational funds away from their intended purposes
The Children's Amendment is Section 16.108 of the San Francisco City Charter: requires the Children's Fund to be used exclusively to provide services for children ages 0-17; establishes that eligible services for the Children's Fund are childcare, recreation, after-school, arts, health, workforce readiness, youth empowerment, violence prevention, educational enrichment, and family support; establishes a three-year planning cycle for use of the Children's Fund, requiring a Community Needs Assessment and a Children's Services Allocation Plan. Significant community participation is required in the development of these documents; establishes a Children's Fund Citizen's Advisory Committee, consisting of 15 members appointed by the Mayor, for the purpose of advising the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families and the Mayor, regarding the use of the Fund.