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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorThe federal FY 2016 budget process is now well under way. Last week Congress passed a joint budget resolution, the first such resolution in five years. It includes what is known as a 302(a) allocation that sets a total amount of money for the Appropriations Committees to spend, which is $1.017 trillion for FY 2016. Once the 302(a) allocation is set, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees set 302(b) allocations which divide the $1.017 total appropriation among 12 subcommittees, each of which deal with a different part of the budget. Those subcommittees then decide how to distribute funds within their 302(b) allocations. The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education allocation for FY 2016 is $153 billion, $3 billion lower than the FY 2015 total. As I've said earlier, under this scenario flat funding for the Department of Education would be good news. Certainly there's no room to accommodate the $3.5 billion increase included in the President's FY 2016 budget request. It's likely that a number of subcommittees will have difficulty crafting their appropriations bills in light of their tight budget allocations. The President has threatened to veto any spending bills that come in at sequestration levels, setting up the potential for a drawn-out battle between Congress and the administration down the road.

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Voice from the Industry

Robert Baker, President and Founder, Mac to SchoolTransitioning From Consumer to Education: Beyond Price and Packaging

With industry reports indicating that investment in ed tech companies hit $1.87 billion in 2014, it’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs and companies in the consumer sector are considering entering the education market or have already begun making inroads. To put your company on the path to success in education, you’ll need to know the differences between the consumer and education markets that extend beyond pricing and packaging.

  • Provide solutions; don’t just sell products
  • Move product and purpose under one roof
  • Relationships are paramount
  • Philanthropy matters

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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamHappy Friday, friends! I hope it has been a terrific week for you. Read on for my scoops for you....

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Survey: State Teachers of the Year Would Prioritize School Funding on Anti-Poverty, Early Learning & Reducing Learning Barriers

As the school year nears its close, the new class of State Teachers of the Year shared their perspectives on pressing issues facing educators today through an online survey conducted by Scholastic with assistance from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Topics including school funding, the impact of higher standards, what parts of their days bring the most satisfaction, barriers to student learning, the importance of independent reading and more, were addressed. When asked what barriers to learning the respondents believe most affect their students’ academic success, more than three in four of the State Teachers of the Year cited “Family stress” (76 percent), followed by “Poverty” (63 percent), and “Learning and psychological problems” (52 percent).

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New Report Highlights Large Gaps between State Test Results and 2013 NAEP Results

Achieve today released a new report that highlights the fact that too often, state-reported proficiency rates in English Language Arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics are disconnected from other benchmarks of readiness and vary widely from state to state. The report, "Proficient vs. Prepared: Disparities between State Tests and the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)," details the discrepancies between student proficiencies as reported by states to students, parents, and educators, and as reported by NAEP, considered the gold standard of student assessment for comparisons across state lines.

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