education

FCC commits additional $421 million in off-campus learning support to bridge the pandemic “homework gap”

A $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) was established by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act to help ease the educational impact on students of school closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While much instruction transitioned to an online environment, many students were inadequately equipped to properly participate. To address issues with access to technology, the program provides funding to schools and libraries across the nation to purchase connected devices and equipment needed for students to use off-campus. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) latest commitment of $421 million brings the program’s total funding to more than $3 billion.

Biden reveals $1.75T framework for Build Back Better agenda

President Joe Biden this morning delayed his planned departure for Europe to announce a framework for the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion plan that the president said he was confident could pass both houses of Congress.

State leaders zero in on recovery in budget proposals, state addresses

As state budgets move into the legislatures for final negotiations and approvals, the last of the governors have addressed their constituents and put forth their proposals. While a renewed sense of hope is seeping into the latest addresses, governors are still cautious and guarded in proposing new programs. Broadband, small business, education and workforce initiatives continue to be among the innovation-related initiatives announced by the state leaders, with the intent that those efforts will also boost the economic recovery of the states.

Early research reveals pandemic effects on education

A recent Economic Commentary from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland reviews the early research surrounding the effects of the pandemic on education and examines three specific areas of concern: the spread of the virus through in-person school settings; the impact of K-12 school closures on labor force participation; and, the effects of virtual schooling on

$5.5B for R&D in CA among critical state ballot initiatives

With the general election less than one month away, SSTI has reviewed the 120 state ballot initiatives throughout the country for innovation-related issues. Education, gig workers, redistricting and issues surrounding elections and state budgets are scattered across the country and can affect the future of innovation through funding, talent and political will. Read below for coverage on the initiatives that could have an impact on different segments of the economy and the future of innovation.

Value of certificates showing mixed results

Completing a subbaccalaureate program can translate into higher pay and greater employment outcomes compared to those who have no education beyond a high school diploma, but the median salary of those who completed a certificate versus those who did not was the same ($20,000) among students who were no longer enrolled after three years. The results are detailed in a recent brief from the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.

Cities failing non-college workers

Non-college workers who long found refuge and economic mobility in thriving cities have seen those opportunities diminish and in turn have moved out of the areas. Although cities remain vibrant for workers with advanced degrees, “the urban skills and earnings escalator for non-college workers has lost its ability to lift workers up the income ladder,” finds David Autor in his recent research brief.

Manufacturing, innovation focus of many state career and technical education plans

The final wave of state career and technical education (CTE) plans have been approved under the new Perkins V Act, with innovation and workforce taking a front seat in the plans. Perkins V encourages states and territories to expand opportunities for every student to access educational opportunities that will put them on the path to success.

Pre-apprenticeship programs boost career readiness, increase skills

In early April the Department of Labor announced a $42.5 million grant opportunity for the Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant Program. The program is to support the development of new or expanding registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) for youth, including quality pre-apprenticeship programs that lead to a RAP. The grant program supports the president’s executive order and the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s goals to promote pre-apprenticeships, to develop a strong youth apprenticeship pipeline, and to expand access to youth apprenticeships. Such programs provide both a pipeline of educated workers for industries, as well as greater opportunities for youth exploring career options.

SSTI recently took a look at some of the pre-apprenticeship programs in different states across the country and the impact some are having.

The growing college wealth divide — a quick look

While the income benefits of a college education receive frequent attention, a recent article from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis highlights the importance of a college degree for wealth accumulation. The average wealth for a college-educated household has tripled since the 1970s, while wealth for households without degrees have remained stagnant. These divergent trends in economic well-being are further evidence of the growing inequality among Americans, and the rising importance of education to staying ahead of this divide.

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