Support the issues that help families
Project Appleseed helped the Clinton White House pioneer the original parental involvement provisions in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1994.
Project Appleseed works for and supports the emerging parent agenda that is meant to alleviate the burdens on middle-class families and to expand educational opportunity for children. The result is a thematic platform addressing some of the biggest sources of anxiety about the future of the middle class. Now we need your input and your help.
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Universal Pre-K Education
In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made a historic pledge to provide universal, high-quality pre-K education to our nation’s children. He chose to make this one of his administration’s priorities with good reason: Early childhood education has myriad benefits, including better, more equitable long-term outcomes for children of divergent economic backgrounds. Moreover, investments in these programs help cultivate a future workforce, secure long-term economic competitiveness, and develop our nation’s future leaders. Universal high-quality pre-K and child care would also throw a much-needed raft to families across America that are struggling to stay afloat while footing costly child care bills, missing work to provide care, or sending their children—our nation’s future innovators and workforce—to low-quality care centers. Center for American Progress.
Passed Into Law
Every Student Succeeds Act
Reauthorization the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
The most important thing to know is that the major requirements of districts and schools to engage parents and families are the same in the new law, including:
1. The School District must offer programs and activities to involve parents and family members, and seek meaningful consultation with parents.
• Develop with parents a written parent and family engagement policy
• Build schools’ capacity to engage families • Evaluate its family engagement policy and practices, with meaningful input from families
• Involve families in the activities of Title I schools
• Reserve at least 1% of its Title I funds to support parent and family engagement activities; involve parents in deciding how to use these funds. More....
Research shows that family engagement in a child’s education increases student achievement, improves attendance and reduces dropout rates. The Family Engagement in Education Act seeks to target capacity-building and technical assistance for effective family engagement strategies by promoting district flexibility to identify programming that works best for individual communities. Encourage your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Family Engagement in Education Act by using Project Appleseed's Open Congress portal here.
The Family Engagement in Education Act (S. 622/H.R. 1194) was introduced by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Mark Desaulnier (D-CA). Read a summary of this important legislation that is intended to strengthen families' engagement in their education of their children.
Close the Homework Gap
According to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel,
“The Homework Gap is the cruelest part of the new digital divide. Today, too many students without broadband at home are unable to complete basic school assignments. They fall behind in the classroom—and we all lose out when we have a generation ill-prepared to enter the digital economy. Kudos to Senator King and Senator Capito for the Digital Learning Equity Act, which puts the spotlight on the Homework Gap and ways to bridge it.”
A key focus of the act is the recognition that access to a broadband Internet connection is an important enabler for students to get access to new personalized learning options made available through online and blended learning.
The Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015 aims to narrow this growing divide by supporting new methods to ensure students stay connected and extend access to digital learning opportunities when they leave the classroom. The program would focus on serving rural schools, high-need schools and low-income students.
President Obama outlined his proposal to offer two years of free community college tuition for students, first detailed two weeks ago in Tennessee. Or as he put it in the speech, “to lower the cost of community college — to zero.”
Modeled on that state’s guarantee of two years of free community college courses, the plan would provide tuition-free classes for students going to school at least half time who maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and are making steady progress toward a degree or transferring to a four-year institution.
“Forty percent of our college students choose community college,” Mr. Obama said. “Some are young and starting out. Some are older and looking for a better job. Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market. Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren's bill to give student loan borrowers the same interest rate as 'Too Big To Fail' banks. President Obama has voiced support for the bill. Major co-sponsor Sherrod Brown. The Bill would allow borrowers to potentially save thousands of dollars by giving them a chance to effectively pay off their high-rate existing loans in exchange for new loans that carry substantially lower interest rates.
Student groups and other organizations focusing on younger Americans enthusiastically support Warren’s bill, under which new interest rates would range from 3.86 percent for loans taken out by borrowers when they were undergraduates to 6.41 percent for parents who took out loans for their children's college tuition, as well as for borrowers who took out loans to pay for graduate school.
The financial industry, perhaps not surprisingly, is less enamored with the proposal. The bill would allow borrowers to refinance loans owned by the private sector into new loans made by the Education Department. Paying off loans early deprives lenders of future interest income, causing paper losses.