Ducey Supports State Education Engagement Initiative: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) establishes the Governor’s Office of Education, previously the Office of Education Innovation. As part of its revised mission, the office will be responsible for developing new academic standards and engaging with the public on education initiatives. The new official website will provide education policy information and solicit public feedback.
Pence Increases Law Enforcement Presence on School Campuses: Gov. Mike Pence (R) adds support for a school safety measure that provides resources such as staff training to increase the presence of resource officers on school campuses. School resource officers are armed personnel trained to expedite notification of law enforcement and first responders in the event of an incident and conduct school security threat assessments. Pence directed that an additional $3.5 million be added to the Secured School Safety Grant Program, increasing the funding available for the current year to more than $9 million.
Branstad Looks to Increase Job Training, Education Attainment: Gov. Terry Branstad (R) releases a report on job training and postsecondary education and careers. The report, produced by Georgetown University and funded through a grant provided by the National Governors Association’s Talent Pipeline Academy, projects that by 2025 more than two-thirds of all jobs in Iowa will require postsecondary education and training. The governor also announced a series of roundtable discussions on how to align career and education goals to increase attainment of postsecondary degrees, certifications, or credentials within the same timeframe.
Snyder Wants to Reform Special Education: Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announces the formation of a task force on changes to the special education system. The task force comes in the wake of a report on the results of a listening tour on special education policy, which suggested the state increase information sharing on rule changes affecting special education and improve the quality of access to child services. Additionally, the authors recommended banning the use of restraint and isolation for students in special education except in emergency situations, improving an overly litigious dispute resolution process, and providing parents with additional resources and choices.
Sandoval Invests in STEM Training for Students: Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) announces an initiative to support new training programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The initiative will involve a partnership between community colleges and industry employers. Funds will be provided for training equipment and instructor training, and to develop new classroom curricula. Students in rural areas will be served by online courses and interactive videos. The state awarded STEM Workforce Challenge Grants to three Nevada Community Colleges. The total grant funding the colleges will receive is $335,975.
Martinez Expands School Internet Access: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) launches an initiative to expand school broadband access. The initiative, which aims to bring high-speed Internet to every classroom by 2018, will involve new fiber-optic lines for faster connections, upgraded equipment and other infrastructure, and help for schools transitioning to wireless Internet. The initiative also involves partnerships with nonprofits to develop a plan for building infrastructure required to deliver high-speed Internet.
Governor Launches School Mentoring Program: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) launches a mentoring program for youth at risk of dropping out of school or leaving foster care. The program will involve students in grades four through six and will recruit volunteers from private sector businesses and nonprofits to mentor disadvantaged students. Additionally, a website will be created to provide information about available resources and mentoring opportunities.
$1.1M for State Juvenile Justice Reintegration Program: Gov. Pat McCrory rolls out a juvenile justice reform effort aimed at improving community reintegration. The juvenile offender re-entry program will improve assessment policies and create a tool that provides services to offenders. Additionally, education and workforce development and family engagement and strengthening strategies will be crafted. DOJ awarded the North Carolina Department of Public Safety $1.1 million ($735,000 with a required match of $367,500) to implement the new community reentry program.
Raimondo Orders Review of School Funding Formula: Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signs an executive order to review the state’s school funding formula. The executive order establishes a working group to ensure special education and English language learner students receive an equitable share of education funding. The working group will provide recommendations to address efficiency and equity in funding across different school systems and for different learners.
State Expands Youth Apprenticeship Initiative: Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) expands an initiative that provides registered apprenticeships for agencies and the private sector. Registered apprenticeships are paid on-the-job training programs that include career and technical education. The expansion will increase fiscal incentives for program participation and provide additional online resources and guidance for participating sponsors. Targeted sponsors include agencies and private companies that focus on key industry sectors such as information technology, cybersecurity, and professional and business services.
$7.5M for Assistance to Aid Incarcerated Parents: Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announces an initiative to reintegrate incarcerated parents into society following release. The goal is to assist the corrections department in providing a range of services to help incarcerated parents improve their relationships with their children. The initiative will provide parenting courses for inmates and help support video calls and in-person visitation, including through the use of shuttle service. Additionally, job training will be offered to connect inmates to services, employment, and educational opportunities upon release. HHS awarded the Washington Department of Corrections a five-year, $7.5 million federal grant aimed at helping inmates with children transition back into society and be successful parents.