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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

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...
August 27, 2019
Phillip Burgoyne-Allen, Bonnie O’Keefe
America’s fleet of roughly 480,000 school buses drives nearly 3.5 billion miles every year transporting students to and from school. About a third of...
August 20, 2019
Hailly T.N. Korman, Max Marchitello, Alexander Brand
Every two years the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights conducts the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which includes...
July 23, 2019
Phillip Burgoyne-Allen, Katrina Boone, Juliet Squire , Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
Every day, America’s fleet of roughly 480,000 school buses transports about a third of students to and from school. This fleet is more than twice the...

Op-Eds

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...
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...

Blog Posts

November 16, 2021
Bonnie O'Keefe
Bellwether Education Partners’ series Splitting the Bill: Understanding Education Finance Equity gives advocates a crash course in the...
November 2, 2021
Bonnie O'Keefe
Bellwether Education Partners’ series Splitting the Bill: Understanding Education Finance Equity gives advocates a crash course in the...
October 28, 2021
Alex Spurrier
School finance poses a unique challenge for policymakers and advocates alike. The consequences of school finance policy are monumental for...