Friday, February 23, 2018

Items about Policy and Law

EDUCATION FUNDING. The National Center for Education Statistics has released a report and database showing how much each state spends on education and where those funds come from. Total education spending on K-12 schools in the US in the recent year analyzed: $628 billion. Education Week reported on this; find it and find your state. (The interactive database tool also displays the changes in funding sources (state, local, federal) between 1990 and now.)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. A recent survey showed that while Americans have an overhelmingly favorable opinions about the Postal Service, about 42 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the Department of Education. What's the deal? The research doesn't say; find it.

K-12 529 PLANS AND THE STATES. Now that 529 plans are allowed to provide a vehicle for parents to save for K-12 education expenses and spend. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 30 states provide tax breaks for those who contribute -- but the worry is that more of those breaks will decrease total state revenue. Read the article.

IMPLEMENTNG SCHOOL SAFETY. The organization Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys posted its position on school safety and looks at what schools can do, part of which is making sure IDEA is fully implemented to help those who might become marginalized. It also notes, "Schools can build strong social, emotional, and behavioral programs." The statement goes on to note that the most recent federal funding proposal would reduce funding for programs aligned with these efforts. Find the statement. Separately, US News notes, "President Donald Trump is calling for a focus on mental health and school safety in response to shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Florida, but his budget would cut funding in both areas." Find the US News article.

AND FINALLY, THIS, from Science Daily: "A new research report shows that a high ranking in the Human Development Index is connected with the availability of mental health services. In a comparison between 17 European and Asian countries, Norway, Switzerland and Finland had the highest ratio of child and adolescent psychiatrists." The study didn't include the United States. The best ratios of availability were around one child psychiatrist for every 2100 children. Find the study. In the United States, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, there are 8300 child psychiatrists. With an estimated child population of 73 million, the ratio of psychiatrists is one to about 8800 children.

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