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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

August 6, 2020
Max Marchitello, Hailly T.N. Korman
The coronavirus pandemic will have a profound, lasting impact on students, particularly those who are already marginalized. This includes students in...
July 14, 2020
Justin Trinidad, Hailly T.N. Korman
School choice was intended to expand options and equity, and it holds promise for many students with unique needs. But it is clear that no choice...
June 30, 2020
Alex Spurrier, Chad Aldeman, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess, Andrew J. Rotherham
For nearly two decades, state and federal policymakers have built standards-based accountability systems as a way to improve educational outcomes and...
June 16, 2020
Lina Bankert, Jeff Schulz, Rochelle Dalton, Alison Fuller, Liz McNamee
Postsecondary education dramatically increases the likelihood of employment and economic success. But many young people, especially those furthest...
June 12, 2020
Hailly T.N. Korman, Michael Johnson, Max Marchitello
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black people, often by law enforcement, have added momentum...

Op-Eds

May 27, 2020
Jeb Bush was a widely regarded governor of Florida for eight years, is a successful businessman, was a 2016 presidential candidate and remains one of...
March 19, 2020
Why do Sanders and some of his primary rivals think it’s good for government to fund community-based, nonprofit organizations to educate 2-year-olds...
March 9, 2020
Too often, education leaders think of schools and programs serving students who have gaps in their education, who are early parents, who are...

Blog Posts

July 22, 2020
Alex Spurrier
The bipartisan coalition that originally supported standards-based accountability is not as strong as it once was, but on Monday afternoon...
July 16, 2020
Hailly Korman
Schools closed in March in order to give federal and state governments the time to implement a public health response to COVID-19. They...
July 2, 2020
Alex Spurrier
The majority opinion in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue from Chief Justice Roberts could not be more clear: “A State need not...