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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

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...
April 17, 2020
Sara Mead
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included $30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund to enable states, local...
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...

Op-Eds

July 21, 2020
The U.S. education system was fraught with obstacles for first-generation college students long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the...
July 8, 2020
To ensure that students aren’t left behind as schools continue educating during a pandemic, policymakers must ensure that accountability systems are...
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...

Blog Posts

October 7, 2020
Juliet Squire and Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
“Efforts to lift economy could tip off a financial crisis.” “School districts brace for cuts.” “Will the Banks Collapse?” With headlines...
October 7, 2020
Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
How do individual schools get their funds from districts, how do districts get funding from states, and how do states generate revenue for...
September 30, 2020
Cara Jackson
As applicants anxiously await the results of the FY2020 Charter School Program (CSP) State Entities grant competition, we want to offer...