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Federal Education Policy

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Although the federal government contributes less than 10 percent of the funding for K-12 schools — the rest comes from a mix of state and local funding — the federal role in our nation’s schools has grown over time. Federal policies play a particularly important role in protecting the rights of and advancing educational equity for historically disadvantaged students, including students of color, students with disabilities, low-income students, and dual-language learners.

Bellwether conducts original research and analysis to inform recommendations for federal education policies. Our work also seeks to build understanding of the evolution of federal education policy and the intersection between national priorities and state and local implementation efforts. We provide advice to states, districts, funders, and others seeking to understand how federal policies affect their work.

The content below reflects our work on this issue:

Publications

April 17, 2020
Sara Mead
Check back for further updates as the Department of Education releases additional information on these programs. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and...
April 13, 2020
In March 2020, the U.S. Congress passed a series of three laws intended to strengthen the capacity of federal, state, and local governments and...
December 4, 2019
Kelly Robson, Phillip Burgoyne-Allen, Juliet Squire, Jeff Schulz
Fourteen percent of the nation’s population lives in rural communities, and one in five K-12 students attends a rural school — a substantial...
November 13, 2019
Chad Aldeman
Most Americans depend on their Social Security benefits to lead a comfortable and secure retirement. And yet not all workers can count on Social...
August 27, 2019
Phillip Burgoyne-Allen, Bonnie O’Keefe, Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
Today, more states and districts are attempting to address segregation and inequity among schools by expanding families’ ability to choose from a...

Op-Eds

March 19, 2020
The 74 -- Why do Sanders and some of his primary rivals think it’s good for government to fund community-based, nonprofit organizations to educate 2-...
March 9, 2020
Education Post--Too often, education leaders think of schools and programs serving students who have gaps in their education, who are early parents,...
February 25, 2020
The 74 -- Bellwether partner Andrew J. Rotherham interviewed polling expert and former white house Aide Greg Schneiders on the state of education in...

Blog Posts

May 6, 2020
Cara Jackson and Hailly Korman
There has been a lot written about the 6th Circuit’s decision in Detroit’s right-to-literacy case, the latest in a long line of lawsuits...
April 28, 2020
Sara Mead
COVID-19 highlights the foundational weaknesses in our nation’s approach to early care and education. Unlike K-12 public schools, which are...
April 22, 2020
Sara Mead
Most state-funded pre-K programs, like most schools, are closed due to the coronavirus. But most states do not have the same state...