State Could Lose Millions in Education Stimulus

California is at risk of losing millions in education stimulus funds because the recipients have been too slow in spending the money.

Six of nine stimulus grants are on pace to miss the Sept. 30 and Dec. 31 spending deadlines set by the federal government, according to a Bureau of State Audits report released last week.

The money in jeopardy includes aid to schools serving minorities and the poor and set-asides to help struggling families obtain child care services.

State auditors found numerous examples of slow spending and non-spending that they concluded could lead to loss of funds, including:

  • $2.7 million in school technology stimulus unused by 182 school districts, county education offices and charters
  • $2.4 million in Title 1 stimulus grants unspent by at least 20 school districts, county education offices and charters
  • $688,000 in special education stimulus unspent at two districts
  • $117,000 in child care aid unused by 33 day care providers
  • $111,000 in aid for students with disabilities unused by an unnamed education agency

Although it is rare to lose funds of this size, it wouldn’t be the first time California has returned stimulus cash. The state forfeited nearly $865,000 in stimulus last year given for the state’s Child Nutrition Program because it wasn’t spent during the time allotted. And forfeiture isn’t the only problem. Auditors also worry that the fix to this year’s spending conundrum could result in federal money used improperly or illegally. Read more >>

Via Corey G. Johnson, Why CTE Blog.

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More California Latinos Are College Grads

More California Latinos are graduating from college, according to a state profile by Excelencia in Education. The number of Latinos earning undergraduate degrees grew by 13 percent in the state between 2006 and 2008, while other groups saw an 8 percent increase.

However, the college gap is large: Only 16 percent of Latino adults are college graduates, compared to 39 percent of all working-age adults in the state.

Some 75 percent of Latino college students are enrolled in community colleges, which have low graduation rates. Looking just at first-time, full-time college students, the Latino completion rate is 35 percent, compared to 47 percent for similar white students, the profile found.

Several pilot programs are boosting Latino success rates, Excelencia notes.

The group suggests that California policy makers focus on closing the gap through programs that provide institutional support for community-college students transferring to four-year institutions, like the University of California’s Puente Project, or peer and faculty mentoring, such as California State Polytechnic University’s Science Educational Enhancement Services.

Excelencia’s state profiles are funded by the Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Educationand the Kresge Foundation.

“A combination of low college enrollment coupled with low college completion rates spells disaster for Latinos and the California economy precisely at a time when we are predicted to face a shortage of one million more college graduates by 2025,” said Michele Siqueiros, executive director of Campaign for College Opportunity, in response to the Excelencia report. Read more>>

Via Joanne Jacobs, Community College Spotlight.

Posted in Community College (13-14), Data/Research. Tags: , , . Comments Off on More California Latinos Are College Grads

California’s Public Colleges Are Falling Behind

The often-celebrated public system of higher education in California is average, at best, and getting worse, argues a report released today by researchers at Sacramento State University. The report evaluates the state’s performance on six measures and finds major declines in college preparation, affordability, participation, and finance compared with other states over the past seven years. “It is a serious mistake to assume that a subset of high-profile, high-performing colleges and universities equates to a public postsecondary system that is up to the task of educating growing generations of Californians,” the report says.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

Posted in Data/Research, Postsecondary (13-18). Tags: . Comments Off on California’s Public Colleges Are Falling Behind