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Sen. Casey Introduces Bill for Early Learning Challenge Fund

March 8, 2011

Last Thursday, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) introduced the “Supporting State Systems of Early Learning Act.” The bill is the latest incarnation of the Early Learning Challenge Fund—a competitive grant program to encourage states to build and strengthen high-quality early learning.

The Most Challenging Policy Areas in Early Ed?

March 8, 2011

If you had to pick the hardest nuts to crack in early education policy, what would they be?

That was the question that animated discussions near the end of our policy forum last week. Everyone who attended -- which included about 70 people from school districts, national advocacy groups, philanthropic foundations and research centers -- was assigned to one of six roundtables. Each table had the same assignment: From a list of subject areas, they were asked to choose two that evoke the most challenging problems among educators and policymakers in the early education space. Here's what they had to choose from:

Our New Online Forum on Early Ed: Come Visit and Post

March 8, 2011
Logo: Before Birth & Up Through Third Grade

Last week, the Early Education Initiative hosted a forum on education policy connections across the "birth-through-third-grade" spectrum. The forum inspired rich discussion and cross-pollination of ideas across several sectors. Though it was a long day, participants didn't want the conversation to end.

It doesn't have to. We have created an online discussion space that is open to anyone interested in discussing how to improve policies and create more cohesive and high-quality learning opportunities for children all the way up through the early grades of elementary school.

Getting in Sync: Revamping Licensure and Preparation for Teachers in Pre-K, Kindergarten and the Early Grades

March 1, 2011
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Today, the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative released a report that highlights problems nationwide with the licensing and preparation of teachers who work with young children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first-, second- and third-grade classrooms.

12 Ideas for Early Ed in the 112th Congress

February 28, 2011
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Here at the Early Education Initiative, we have just released our bi-annual issue brief with recommendations for the U.S. Congress. This year's installment is titled "12 Ideas for Early Education in the 112th Congress."

12 Ideas for Early Education in the 112th Congress

  • By
  • Lisa Guernsey,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2011

As the 112th Congress gets to work, its members face an important opportunity to make lasting changes to public education. With the pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, also currently known as No Child Left Behind) lawmakers could enact significant improvements to strengthen early learning, as they also could in legislation related to the appropriation of funding at federal agencies.

House Passes New FY 11 Continuing Resolution— Next Stop: Senate

February 22, 2011

Setting federal spending levels for fiscal year 2011 has been a wild ride, and it’s not even close to over yet.

This is what is supposed to happen each year: The President makes a budget request in February. Congress debates and passes a budget by September 30, which is when the federal fiscal year ends. The approved budget bill is then sent to the President for his signature.

This has not been the case for the FY 2011 budget.

Our Upcoming Events: Media Seminar, Policy Forum and Book Talk

February 16, 2011
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Two weeks from now, those of us here at the Early Education Initiative will be hosting a series of events related to early childhood across the years from birth through age 8. Our hope is to heighten discussion about how public policies -- for good and ill -- are having an impact on the way children learn and grow throughout these critical formative years.

Key Questions about Early Ed in Obama's FY12 Budget

February 15, 2011
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As it does every year, the education policy team here at New America has compiled a list of key questions prompted by the Obama administration's budget request, which was released yesterday. The questions are designed to heighten the quality of debate on federal education policy and spark conversations among policymakers, the media, stakeholder groups, and the public.

Here are our two questions that relate most directly to early education:

Obama’s FY12 Budget Is Good to Early Ed

February 14, 2011

Under the 2012 budget that President Obama released today, early education would not only receive protection from the budget knife, but additional dollars as well. The Obama administration’s request to Congress proposes increases in funding for child care grants and Head Start, as well as Title I and special education programs.

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