Stacey Childress, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, issued the following statement in response to the proposed FY17 U.S. education budget:
The new budget proposal increases spending levels in many key areas that support innovation, equity in education and strong schools for students who have been traditionally underserved. While additional funds will surely not solve all the challenges in public education, funding is an important indicator of what – and more importantly who – the nation values. It is encouraging to see a moderate increase in the budget for the growth of innovative school models, including those in both the traditional and charter sector, that provide high-quality options to families.
We are perhaps most intrigued by the $25,000 in loan forgiveness that would be available to teachers graduating from high-performing teacher prep programs and working in high-needs schools. This is a novel idea, and we hope to see it further improved by placing an emphasis on specifically recruiting diverse candidates into these high-needs schools; many of these schools serve large populations of black and Latino students.
The proposed allocation of $180 million for education innovation and research programs is heartening. Never has the nation needed fresh, new education models that work — more than it does today. This competitive funding program holds great promise for creative innovators, and the students whose educational experiences can be transformed by new tools and instructional models. We encourage the Department of Education to carefully consider the selection criteria, and to use this as an opportunity to create opportunities for a diverse group of grantees who reflect the rich mosaic of students in the communities that will be served by the innovations.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that seeks to transform public education so that all children have the opportunity to succeed – especially those in schools that do not currently work for them. To achieve this goal, NewSchools identifies the most promising and innovative education entrepreneurs and helps them effectively accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the children and educators they serve. Through our investing, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reinvent K-12 education to help students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans.
Contact: Debbie Veney