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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

September 9, 2020
Some Democrats and Republicans have an unlikely alliance these days around one thing: their sudden rejection of the federal Charter Schools Program (...
July 28, 2020
What a 2005 earthquake in Pakistan can teach American educators about learning loss after a disaster. Distance learning efforts have gone poorly and...
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...

Blog Posts

November 5, 2020
Chad Aldeman
As I write this, we’re not done counting votes in several key states, including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania...
November 3, 2020
Tanya Paperny
That there’s a lot at stake in this election is obvious. And there is a lot at stake for schools even as they’ve been mostly an...
November 2, 2020
Tanya Paperny
Throughout the past month, Bellwether has weighed in on the financial health of schools in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with different...