$41M Goes for Early Childhood Education: Gov. Robert Bentley (R) promotes an initiative to invest in early childhood education. The initiative includes $41 million in grant funding for low-income children and families dealing with issues related to homelessness, abuse, or neglect. The initiative will use the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership model to allow local child care facilities and providers to coordinate with Head Start early learning programs.
State Reduces Overhead to Bolster Classroom Funding: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) establishes the Classroom First initiative intended to increase funds spent on classroom instruction and teachers. The initiative requires a committee of education and finance professionals to assess current education expenditures and make recommendations. The committee will work to revise the school finance code to reduce administrative overhead expenses.
$3.2M for Post-High School Preparation Programs: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) announces a new program to help high school students get into college. The $3.2 million Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative is intended to create a comprehensive network of student support programs to help make college more affordable. The first phase of the initiative intends to improve student success programs for high schoolers and recent graduates, and the second phase will increase the available amount of scholarship funds.
Markell Expands Access to High-Quality Early Childhood Programs: Gov. Jack Markell (D) launches an expansion of early childhood learning programs and support services for families. Parents of infants and toddlers will now be eligible for all-day and year-round comprehensive services, including nutrition programs, developmental screenings, and opportunities for home visitation and parental education. The services will be paid for by a $5.5 million HHS grant designed to provide additional aid for infants, toddlers and their families, Markell said.
State Strengthens Bullying, Domestic Violence Measures: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), in his State of the State address, announces an initiative to combat school bullying and domestic violence. The Bully Free Iowa Act would require parental notification in the event of a school bullying incident, except if notification was likely to lead to abuse or other ill effects. Additionally, the act would establish a bullying prevention program, provide investigator training for school personnel, and make it easier for students to participate in athletics if they change schools because of bullying.. The governor also proposed legislation to strengthen domestic violence laws by classifying as a habitual offender as anyone convicted of domestic abuse up three times to trigger a higher mandatory minimum sentence and expand GPS monitoring of those offenders.