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Supreme Court Rejects Trump DACA Appeal Request

By Dr. David Holbrook | February 28, 2018

In January 2018 I wrote a blog about a federal judge in California blocking the Trump administration's efforts to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). On February 13, 2018 a second federal judge issued a temporary block to the end of DACA. According to the current timeline, the DACA program is set to end on March 5, 2018. The ruling by these two judges has temporarily block the end of DACA and opened the door for current DACA recipients to apply to renew their DACA status until the legal challenges to rescinding DACA are settled. Renewals were suspended on October 5, 2017 following the September 5, 2017 rescission of DACA. This will very likely allow DACA recipients to continue to apply for renewal past the March 5, 2018 looming deadline.

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Dead on Arrival - Trump's Budget Proposal to Cut 21st Century Community Learning Center Funds

By Alyssa Thornley | February 15, 2018

On February 12, 2018 the White House budget proposal was released, outlining Trump's priorities for funding the 2019-2020 school year (Fiscal Year 2019 or FY2019). This proposal included cutting the same two major programs that Trump proposed to cut for FY2018, Title II and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV, Part B). Dr. David Holbrook, Executive Director of Federal Programs and State Relationships, provides commentary on the budget at www.21cclc.com. Read more here.

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ESSA RoadMaps: What You Need to Know for ESSA Compliance

By Alyssa Thornley | October 9, 2017

Transact RoadMaps are a compliance and guidance component of TransACT Parent Notices subscriptions that existing subscribers can access at any time. RoadMaps use a series of yes/no questions to guide educators through the process of determining which parent notices are required to send out in a particular time period or situation. This helps educators to create a list of notices they need based on the unique characteristics of their school and/or school district. RoadMaps are a helpful, time-saving compliance tool for:

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ESSA State Plan Submissions: 4 States Receive Deadline Extension

By Dr. David Holbrook | September 20, 2017

If a State wants funding that comes through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA/ESSA), then it must submit an "ESSA State Plan" that describes how it will use that funding to benefit students in that State. The two deadlines to submit ESSA State Plans were April 3, 2017 and September 18, 2017, but not all states have submitted their plans.

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English Language Proficiency Standards and Reading/Language Arts Content Standards: What’s the Difference?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 14, 2017

Over the years that I have worked with students learning English (English learners or ELs), I have met a number of well-meaning educators and parents that don't understand the difference between English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards and English content standards also know as reading/language arts content standards. For some parents and educators that don't have training or experience working with ELs, the idea that there are two types of English standards is confusing. 

So, I (and a number of my colleagues) was glad to see that the U.S Department of Education (USED) recently published guidance that specifically addressed this issue. 

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Increased Rigor for Content Standards Impacts the Amount of Students in EL Programs

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 11, 2017

Education Week recently published an article about the increased rigor in the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) test (assessment) ACCESS 2.0. ACCESS 2.0 is the ELP test made available through the WIDA consortium. According to the EdWeek article, and several other articles that have been published on this topic, significantly fewer English Learners (ELs) tested proficient in English on ACCESS 2.0 in comparison to previous years when the previous version of this test was used.

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Can ESEA (ESSA) Funds be used to Pay EL Teacher’s Salaries?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 2, 2017

When I was employed at a state department of education, I monitored school districts for compliance with ESEA requirements for both Title I and Title III. I also contracted with the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and helped USED monitor Title III in five states. One of the most common English Learner (EL) program monitoring issues I found was an improper use of Title I or Title III funds to pay for the salaries of teachers working in a district’s core “language instruction educational program” (LIEP), also know as an EL program.

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House Appropriations Bill Retains Significant Funding for 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 27, 2017

Back in April I wrote about the efforts of local, state, and national organizations who were urging congressional leaders to retain funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) program (ESSA Title IV, Part B) at no less than the current funding level ($1.167 billion). Trump’s budget proposal included elimination of the 21CCLC program and advocates for this program came out to support the program in force. Well, their efforts may be seeing some results.

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The Staggering Cost of Parent Communication Requirements Under ESSA

By Alyssa Thornley | June 12, 2017

There is a financial burden related to creating parent notice communications in-house, especially since there are several components to a successful, ESEA- compliant communications plan, including:

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Using Remaining Funds Prior to the New Budget Year to Start School Year 2018-19 Off Strong

By Tina Nguyen | May 29, 2017
In just one month the 2017-18 school year will end, and districts will begin to grapple with implementing changes required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As the end of the budget year approaches, now is the time to leverage remaining unallocated funds to address ESSA requirements in order to stay in compliance for the upcoming 2018-19 school year.
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