Early Ed Watch

A Blog from New America's Early Education Initiative

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Making Sense of the Final Numbers in FY11 Federal Funding

Published:  May 20, 2011

This week, our colleagues at the Federal Education Budget Project released an issue brief that helps to make sense of the funding situation for fiscal year 2011. The fiscal year is more than half over but it wasn't until last month that Congress approved and President Obama signed the appropriations bill that funds the vast majority of federal education programs. The new issue brief explains what took so long and provides data on exactly which programs will receive funding.

The table on page 6 is worth poring over. You'll see that Striving Readers (a birth-through-12th grade literacy program) and Even Start (a family literacy program) were zero-ed out, but that the Race to the Top program, the Investing in Innovation (i3) grants, and the Promise Neighborhoods Initiative remain -- albeit at relatively low levels of funding. Ironically, the reduction in dollars for literacy-focused programs comes in the wake of new research showing how much literacy is connected to school success, with high-school graduation rates linked to the ability of children to read well in third grade.

The brief -- titled the 2011 Education Appropriations Guide -- also mentions other education programs that received no funding this fiscal year, including Educational Technology State Grants, Javits Gifted and Talented Education, Teach For America, the National Writing Project and the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

The story was less dire for early education programs such as Head Start, which received enough funding for this fiscal year to be able to maintain services for babies and young children enrolled under expansion projects built with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as "the stimulus bill" of 2009.

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